Thursday, June 1, 2017

School’s Out Forever: Celebrate the Closing of Indiana Tech Law School


http://www.theindianalawyer.com/indiana-techs-closing-of-law-school-leaves-unanswered-questions/PARAMS/article/43828

Glorious News: On May 31, 2017, the Indiana Lawyer published a Marilyn Odendahl article that was entitled “Indiana Tech’s closing of law school leaves unanswered questions.” Enjoy this wondrous opening:

“Little more than a week after graduation ceremonies, Indiana Tech Law School was well on its way to extinction.

The name had been removed from the building, the Fort Wayne law school’s website redirects visitors to the main Indiana Tech homepage, and all mentions of the legal education program had been scrubbed from Indiana Tech’s homepage. Neither Dean Charles Cercone, former interim dean andré douglas pond cummings nor university spokesman Brian Engelhart returned phone calls or emails. 

Questions are unanswered about the final steps being taken to close the school, what will happen to money given for endowed scholarships, where will the materials in the law library go, what will be done with the curated art collection, and how the $15 million building, constructed especially for the law school, will be repurposed. 

The American Bar Association, which provisionally accredited the law school, has not spoken publicly about the closure since it issued a statement that Indiana Tech would have to follow the procedure for ceasing operation outlined in Rule 34 of the ABA Rules of Procedure for the Approval of Law Schools. The U.S. Department of Education did not respond by IL deadline to an inquiry about any role it has in the closure and how much federal loan debt Indiana Tech law students have. 

While silence has prevailed outside the school, members of the Class of 2017 said the atmosphere inside changed immediately after the university announced in October 2016 its plans to shutter the legal education program at the end of the academic year. 

A planned legal conference on campus was cancelled, support staff were pulled from the building and the receptions and informal gatherings held periodically with the faculty stopped. The day after the announcement, students saw workers measuring the classrooms and evaluating how the space could be reused.

The Indiana Institute of Technology, which opened the law school in August 2013, cited a $20 million loss as the primary driver behind the decision to close. Still, the 2017 graduates were angered by the university’s action. They opted to hold their own graduation ceremony, off campus at the Allen County Public Library, so they would not have encounter retiring Indiana Tech President Arthur Snyder at the main commencement May 13.” [Emphasis mine]

You’re welcome, bitches! Frankly, the university did the right thing, in rectifying their earlier mistake. Hell, the administration lost $20 million on that joke of a law school – and they didn’t have a large endowment to support this peTTTTT projecTTTTT. The graduates could have held their little ceremony in a Starbucks – site of their future employer. Plus, the “educators” can pack that curated art up their ass. 

http://www.theindianalawyer.com/last-class-graduates-from-indiana-tech-law-school/PARAMS/article/43693

Other Coverage: On May 15, 2017, the Indiana Lawyer featured another piece from Marilyn Odendahl, this one under the headline “Last class graduates from Indiana Tech Law School.” Review the following excerpt:

“The class did have a private hooding ceremony the evening of May 12 at the Allen County Public Library in downtown Fort Wayne since some did not want to include the university in their celebration. About 17 graduates attended the event with their families and received their degrees from law school dean Charles Cercone and associate dean Charles MacLean. 

“That was basically our ceremony which was very meaningful and important because we had stuck together and gotten through this process,” [60 year old Philip] Davis said.

Waiting for the main commencement exercises to begin, Davis and his four classmates stood apart in the sea of black caps and gowns. They were clustered under the sign designating where the law school graduates should stand and talked quietly amongst themselves. 

Snyder presided over the 96th Indiana Tech graduation and his last as the leader of the university. Despite criticism for opening a law school in 2013, a time when lawyers were struggling to find J.D.-required jobs, Snyder championed the new venture. His retirement coincides with the school’s closure.

The law school graduates were among the first to enter the arena, taking seats near the commencement stage. As Cercone called their names, they walked across the stage, had the hood placed on their shoulders and proceeded back to their chairs. No mention was made that they were members of the final law school class.

Noah Moore, who relocated from Jackson, Mississippi, to attend Indiana Tech Law School, called the graduation day bittersweet.

“We put in a lot of hard work,” Moore said of the Class of 2017. “That’s what actually makes (this day) bittersweet and kind of has me upset. Our hard work can’t be overlooked.” [Emphasis mine]

Did hip hip and the law extraordinaire André Douglas Pond Scummings appear as the DJ for that sad event? By the way, Noah Moore: no one cares about all your “hard work,” which consisted of studying commercial outlines and listening to boring lectures. Now make that a large latte.

Conclusion: The idiots at Indiana Institute of Technology – not to be confused with ITT Tech – ignored the warnings about opening a law school in the midst of a fundamental restructuring of the U.S. legal job market. Hell, why not open up a penmanship class at the school? Or teach students how to operate a horse and buggy? Those skills will surely come in super-handy, right?!?! Don’t feel bad about this “institution of higher learning” losing $20 million on this stupid, greedy venture. Instead, rejoice over the fact that potentially hundreds more were spared financial ruin – in the form of NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt.

30 comments:

  1. I’ll never forget when the founding dean of this toilet, Peter Alexander, said “[t]here are people in the blogosphere who are vicious with their comments. It allows them to be anonymous and it shows the darker side of our profession. I use them as Exhibit A for the need for more professionalism and ethics training.  There’s no doubt that it’s hurtful to read things that suggest the faculty members are just trying to steal student’s money and that the school has no soul.”

    This is known as the psychological defense of projection. When you are an unethical pig looking to rake in $200k+ a year by ripping off student loan conduits, you project your lack of ethics onto the scamblog movement.

    It’s worth repeating the history of how we got to this point. Law school pigs want you to believe that the legal market was booming before the financial crisis and a return to the good old days is imminent. That couldn’t be further from the truth. In the past, law schools published fraudulent employment statistics to attract students. Every school claimed they had a 99% placement rate with private practice salaries averaging $100k. They conveniently left out that the employment rate included all the grads working as bartenders and baristas. The salary data was based on the one grad who landed big law averaged with the one grad who reported their shit law salary of $30k. The bogus stats allowed the law schools to charge exorbitant tuition rates. It wasn’t enough to charge high tuition though. The schools enticed some students with conditional scholarships. Through strict grade curves and section stacking, the schools could eliminate scholarships every year so that more students became paying customers. All of the student loan dollars went to pay the bloated six figure salaries of the faculty and staff. Don’t ever believe that non-profits are not profitable!

    When the financial crisis hit, the law schools continued to report their bogus employment and salary data. The scamblog movement took to the internet and questioned the bogus stats. Unemployed grads filed lawsuits. The ABA finally forced law schools to report accurate employment information. When accurate employment stats were finally published, it turned out that many law grads end up unemployed or working in non-professional jobs. Employers were not interested in hiring toilet law grads before the financial crisis, and they are not interested in hiring toilet law grads now. Remember the history of the law school scam when you hear a pig like Alexander talk about ethics.

    Thanks to the scamblog movement, pig Alexander did not end up getting another sweet gig after the Indiana Tech fiasco. The pig was a visiting “professor” at Arkansas toilet of law for the fall 2016 semester, responsible for teaching Research, Writing & Analysis I.

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    1. Thanks for tracking down the next phase of Alexander's illustrious career. Alexander, do employ "Writing" to show us how "Research" and "Analysis" supported your cocksure proclamations of a bright future for Indiana Tech and its students. I hope that you enjoy the ignominy of that "desire to pursue other employment opportunities" that sent you from dean and full professor at Indiana Tech to visiting "professor" of introductory research and writing at Arkansas (http://outsidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.ca/2014/05/patient-zero-indiana-tech-law-school.html).

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    2. Not sure I agree. The legal market was in pretty good shape before the financial crisis. Jobs deep into the class at lesser law schools were not guaranteed. But people were doing pretty well. In FAR greater numbers than today. That said, I DO agree that those days will not return. It's not just the financial crisis either. The market has fundamentally changed. Technological advances, predictive coding, the rise of alternative service providers, and many other things have permanently reduced much of the demand for legal services. Particularly for matters where sophistication is not needed. And it's never going to bounce back to what it was before. Ever. Also, law school is far more expensive today than it was. As a result, graduates strapped with debt cannot afford lower salary jobs that would have allowed them to earn a living in years past. See my other post.

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  2. The individual school results for the February 2017 California Bar exam have been released. Thomas Jefferson's first time pass rate dropped to 24%! UCLA, ranked as the 15th best law school by US News, posted a 64% first time pass rate.

    http://abovethelaw.com/2017/06/california-bar-exam-results-by-law-school-february-2017/

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    1. The overall pass rate for the California bar was in the 40%s. What a sad mess.

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  3. excellent news

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  4. This blog is proof that change comes from people outside the system and not those "lawyers" tied to it. That goes for politicians too. Furthermore, if it is money you are after, there are other ways of making it than being in the elite of the law profession.

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  5. All the law schools listed on this blog as below third tier should be shut down.

    And of the schools in the third tier, most probably should be shut down too.

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    1. And the remaining third tier and some second tier need to revamp and dramatically reduce tuition. No landscaping, no curated art collection, no high tech libraries that no one actually needs in an internet age, some online classes reducing demands for classroom space and faculty, lower teacher and admin salaries. There are plenty of things that lesser schools could do to drop costs. But won't.

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  6. Actually, I'd like to see penmanship as a requirement for law students. Many lawyers write worse than I would if I clenched the pen between my butt cheeks.

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  7. Shit rolls downhill. The prawfs will be okay. I'm sure they'll run to other shit law schools. And make good money. The same can't be said for their students. Including the 60 year old ones. (You talk about stupid.)

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  8. In all fairness:

    Had they had an AAMPLE program
    they still would be open....

    InfoLaw ..wink ... wink...

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    Replies
    1. Team AAMPLE is back, and as inane as ever.

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    2. What law school did that dipshit go to?

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  9. I would like an honest assessment. I am Certified Public Accountant and would it make any sense whatsoever to pursue a law degree to become a tax attorney? I really like taxation and I was wondering if it is even worth it to become a tax attorney?

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    1. Are you crazy? Stay away from law school like your life depends upon it.

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    2. If you're a CPA you should have friends in accounting who can tell you if being a tax attorney is worth the cost. Also did you have a stroke or a brain injury recently? Don't even think of law school at this point.

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    3. No. No. No. No.

      If you MUST continue education, look for a Tax LLM that admits CPAs as well as JD's. There are several. Still a terrible idea... BTW, an MBA is also overpriced, overproduced, and undervalued, but you would almost certainly get a better career boost with an MBA than a JD.

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    4. I figure it was a bad idea. No my CPA colleagues were clueless. I kind have sensed it was a dumb idea. I'll just stick to my job.

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  10. http://www.news-sentinel.com/news/local/Indiana-Tech-Law-School--an-honest-mistake--broken-promise---or--both-

    Back on November 1, 2016, the News-Sentinel posted a Kevin Leininger article entitled "Indiana Tech Law School: an honest mistake, broken promise — or both?" Read this portion:

    "Indiana Tech fought the good fight, pulling the plug on its three-year-old law school only after it became painfully obvious the conditions that led to a $20 million loss — and projected annual $5 million deficits into the future — were not going to change anytime soon. That's the way President Arthur Snyder sees it. Jon Olinger, who graduated from the law school in May, sees it differently. And although I can't print some of his words, his sentiment boils down to this: His degree has been diminished, and the lives of the faculty and 71 current students uprooted, because Indiana Tech officials made promises they didn't keep. "What they've done is shameful. It's an absolute breach of contract," the former Fort Wayne Community Schools Board member said, sounding very much like a lawyer in search of a client.

    Because no one begins a high-profile, expensive venture expecting to fail, I won't question school officials' motives. Their judgment, on the other hand, is fair game because many of the same factors Snyder cited were well-known even before the law school opened.

    In 2011, the Wall Street Journal cited an American Bar Association study showing that only half of law-school graduates found jobs in the legal field when it asked whether America needed more lawyers. A year later Paul Campos of the University of Colorado slammed Indiana Tech's law school as a "diploma mill" that would saddle students with "large amounts of non-dischargable debt" in a market already oversaturated with lawyers. Several local attorneys quietly expressed similar concerns at the time.

    Dean Peter Alexander, however, insisted Indiana Tech's law school would succeed by filling a unique niche. "We won't be 'Harvard on the Maumee,' he told me in 2011. "We are looking for people who want adventure — entrepreneurs who want to make history . . . We want to create a buzz."

    Monday's revelation of the school's demise created a buzz, all right, but the brief, tumultuous history of Indiana Tech's law school was not what Alexander or Snyder would have wanted. Built for up to 350 students, the gleaming $15 million law building had an initial class of just 28. Alexander, resigned in 2014, the ABA denied its first bid for accreditation in 2015 and of the 20 students who graduated in May, 12 took the Indiana bar exam and only one passed (one later passed on appeal and another passed the bar in Illinois).

    Even though 50 students enrolled this year, Snyder said there was no reason to believe the school would be able to attract enough paying students to reach a sustainable level of debt, much less break even. Demand for attorneys remains weak, and schools like Indiana Tech were compelled to offer discounts of up to 60 percent to attract students, he added. In fact, at one point Indiana Tech was offering scholarships of up to 100 percent. It's hard to make money that way."

    Does anyone think that any of these students or grads will have stellar careers as an attorney? If this is the best school they could get into, then their cognitive function skills are lacking. Do you really want any of these dunces representing you in legal matters?!?! Good riddance to this festering toilet.

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  11. Mr. Olinger accuses Indiana Tech of "an absolute breach of contract". Has Mr. Olinger passed the bar exam anywhere? He was not the lone centurion who passed in Indiana last summer. Maybe he was the one who passed on appeal or the one who passed in Illinois.

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    1. I love how obsessed you are with crushing them that you know their graduation stats. Get a hobby, troll.

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  12. Cool. Now we need only about a hundred other shitholes to close up.

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  13. One of the posts above said "In 2011, the Wall Street Journal cited an American Bar Association study showing that only half of law-school graduates found jobs in the legal field when it asked whether America needed more lawyers. "

    I would also be interested in stats about: how many lawyers leave the field, and average career length of attorneys.
    As mentioned before, I'm a paralegal. I've seen attorneys leave the field. One married a person who makes a six figure income, and she left the legal profession to raise kids. Others go into another field, such as self employed in business , or pursuing a degree in computer science. One had a drinking problem, and died in her late 30s. Then there are those who get disbarred.

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  14. http://insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.com/2012/10/ive-gotten-three-emails-in-past-week.html

    Back on October 8, 2012, Paul Campos authored on ITLSS post labeled "Indiana Wants Me." Check out his conclusion, after quoting founding cockroach dean Peter Alexander's comment on a Top Law Schools thread:

    "Indiana, which contains 2% of the US population, already has four ABA-accredited law schools, including two "top 30" institutions, both of which feature legal unemployment rates for their grads of around 40%, and which are currently placing only 20% to 25% of their graduates in firms of more than ten attorneys.

    Chutzpah has been defined as murdering your parents and then pleading for mercy because you're an orphan. How about setting up another legal diploma mill in a hyper-saturated market, while claiming that what will set your school apart is its emphasis on "ethics" and "professionalism?"

    Of course none of this is going to keep the ABA Section of Legal Education from accrediting this absurdity after the requisite site visits and other bureaucratic hoop-jumping. And until something changes nothing is going to stop the school from trolling the internet for victims future lawyers paying customers, who will fund this latest foray into professional school carnival barking via a combination of the generosity of the U.S. taxpayer and their endlessly naive willingness to believe people like Peter Alexander, Dean and Professor of Law."

    In the final analysis, there was no valid reason for opening another damn law school in the state. Then again, greed and ignorance clouded the pigs' minds. Apparently, the idiots at Indiana Institute of Technology saw dollar signs - even though there was a fundamental change in the legal field taking place. Lemmings still have several dozen toilets to choose from, when seeking the purchase of a law degree.

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  15. Opening this law skool when they did is like opening up a shoe repair place in the mall. It's easy and cheaper to buy new shoes than to have old ones repaired. Not a market for the service.

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  16. Curated art collection? That's a perfect example of the problem right there. These schools need to fulfill their basic educational mission of admitting competent people and delivering them with reasonable job prospects before they spend money on fluff. Education is a product like any other, and legal education may be the ONLY product where the quality varies dramatically, but the price is exactly the same. The shame of it is that there are actually UNMET needs for legal services among individuals and small businesses, but people from lower tier law schools cannot afford to represent them because of the massive debt loads they are saddled with. If these shitty schools dramatically cut inflated teacher and admin salaries and all the trimmings and useless things they spend money on -- cutting tuition accordingly -- people who are not brilliant could afford to make a respectable lower-middle class existence of say $50,000. There is a demand for legal services that would generate those salaries. But these trash heaps all think they should be able to function and price like a top 10 law school. I do some adjunct work and teach some practical seminars and law schools. All the practical professors agree with this. But the self-interested tenure-track academics only change when forced to kicking and screaming by market realities they cannot escape.

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  17. https://www.indianatech.edu/news/indiana-tech-law-school-to-close-in-june-2017/

    Take a moment to read this October 31, 2016 press release. It was entitled "Indiana Tech Law School to close in June 2017." What a wonderful opening:

    "The Indiana Tech Board of Trustees, with the recommendation of the university’s administration, has voted unanimously to close Indiana Tech Law School at the conclusion of the 2016-17 academic year. The law school will continue to operate throughout the remainder of the current academic year, and officially close June 30, 2017.

    Indiana Tech President Dr. Arthur Snyder commented, “This was an extremely difficult decision for all involved. Over the course of time it has become apparent that the significant decline in law school applicants nationwide represents a long term shift in the legal education field, not a short term one. Specific to Indiana Tech, the assessment of the Board and our senior leadership team is that for the foreseeable future the law school will not be able to attract students in sufficient numbers for the school to remain viable.”

    Indiana Tech Law School currently has a total of 71 students enrolled. All students will have the option to complete the year with the law school, with those in their third and final year having the ability to graduate from the law school in May. First and second year students will have the option to transfer to other law schools at the start of the January 2017 semester, or to complete the year at Indiana Tech Law School and then transfer for the start of the fall 2017 semester. Indiana Tech Law School staff will work closely with each student on an individual basis to help with the transfer and degree completion process.

    To date, Indiana Tech has incurred a loss of nearly $20 million in operating the law school. With new enrollments projected to be in the range of 30-50 per year for the foreseeable future, this deficit was expected to continue growing, rather than shrinking, placing the law school on an unsustainable path."

    Thank all of you who helped warn away students from this ABA trash pit. In the end, it never should have been opened in the first place. The greedy pigs figured that they would attract large classes of lemmings. It didn't quite pan out that way. Congrats on sinking $20 million into this cesspool, bitches!

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  18. Excellent news! I need to buy myself some fine wine to celebrate! Although I do feel bad for the curated art collection... but the piggish faculty and the lemming students, not so much.

    (Oh, and one thing which I meant to say way back when: In a way, Indy Tech itself was like a lemming, trying to cash in on the law school scam when everyone else with even half a brain was trying to back out of it. Oh well, hopefully they learned something from this excessively expensive lesson...)

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