Wednesday, December 6, 2017

First Tier Iniquity: Yale Law School

Tuition and Fees: As you can see, full-time law students at Yale Univer$ity will face a tuition bill of $59,920, for the 2017-2018 academic year. What did you expect from the ultimate blueblood in$titution of “higher learning” in America? Furthermore, the University Administrative and Activities Fee will amount to an additional $2,250.

That brings the direct cost of admission to $62,170 – for one single, solitary year of law school. Such prohibitive charges clearly send the following message: “If you are not from established family wealth, then you are not welcome here.” How many of the young men and women enrolled at this law school went to elite, i.e. expensive, boarding schools at an early age – and then earned their undergraduate degree from Ivy League colleges?

Total Cost of Attendance: Based on this same page, the school estimates that room, board, and personal expenses will reach $17,000. Apparently, New Haven is a dump of a town. However, that line item appears to be ridiculously low. I suppose if you live in broken down tenement housing and subsist on Ramen noodles and tuna sandwiches, then this might seem somewhat realistic.

Books are listed at $1,100, and Univer$ity Ho$pitalization Coverage is $2,332. Their total listed budget is $82,602. I guess they think that everyone has cars that are paid in full, and that will not break down or require much in maintenance. And I’m sure that is the case for a certain segment of their entering classes. 

Seeing that actual law students will require costs for the full calendar year – and not just during the “magical” nine month portion when they are in classes – we will prorate the following items: room, board, and personal expenses. Doing so, we reach the following, more accurate total COA figure of $88,269. Keep in mind that this appears to be a conservative assessment of total expenses. Of course, it doesn’t matter to the scions of the rich if the annual budget is $89K or $100K.

Rankings: At those prices, this better be the best damn law school in the country. In that case, those enrolled here are lucky. Yale Law $chool is rated as the overall greatest, out of the more than 200 ABA-accredited mills, by US “News” & World Report. By the way, it is sickening when low-ranked cesspits charge $45K in annual tuition – in exchange for anemic job prospects for their graduates.

Published Employment Placement Statistics: Let’s review the chart labeled Employment Statistics for 2016. You will see that there were 203 members of this graduating class. Of that amount, 189 reported being in full-time, long-term positions within 10 months of earning their JDs. That is an effective placement rate of 93.1 percent. From the best law school in the country. If you include the four grads working in full-time, short-term jobs, that climbs all the way up to 95.1%, which is just short of incredible! To be generous, we will go with that latter number. Remember when TTTs were simply claiming employment placement rates of 98 percent, on their recruitment materials?

By the way, when you take a closer look, you will realize that the picture is not quite that rosy. For example, a total of 19 members of this cohort were employed in posts that were funded by the univer$ity or law $chool! Let’s put this into perspective: without those 19 created/manufactured jobs, the full-time employment rate would be 85.7%, at the top law school in the United States. If that doesn’t make you rethink your decision to attend any ABA-accredited diploma factory, then you are a lost cause. You are the type of person who needs those warning labels on the side of a paint can.

Under Employment Type, you will notice that 83 members of this class were working in private law firms, including six in firms of 251-500 lawyers and 65 landing employment in offices of more than 500 attorneys. Another 72 reported being employed in judicial clerkships, with 69 of them in article III posts. Plus, five JDs from this cohort landed full-time jobs in “education,” which is a great racket.

Average Law Student Indebtedness: US “News” lists the average law student indebtedness - for those members of the Yale Law Class of 2016 who incurred debt for law school - as $121,815. Of note, only 68% of this school’s 2016 graduating class took on such noxious debt. Don’t forget that this amount doesn’t include debt from undergrad studies, and it also does not take accrued interest into account, while you are enrolled in school.

Bargain alert: while Yale Law $chool is ranked number one in terms of overall quality, it only has the 70th highest amount of average law student debt. That is a hell of deal for the pupil! Go out and purchase a new Porsche with the savings. Plus, fully 32 percent of the class that did not take out a nickel in student loans for a Yale law degree. It’s safe to say that those wealthy young men and women will have no trouble landing the juiciest jobs available. But have fun “competing” against them – and their rich father and his connected friends – for those positions.

Conclusion: Yale Law $chool is considered the most elite in$titution of “legal education” in the entire nation. Most of their recent grads landed Biglaw or federal clerkships, and a handful were hired by academia. The tuition is high, but what do you expect? Just keep in mind that you can just as easily be canned from Biglaw within 3-5 years, if you do not make partner before that time frame ends. If you can’t bring in major new business, the greedy partners and managers will not care that you graduated from Yale Law. By the way, when you are working 80-90 hours per week as an associate, see what that does for your health and well-being. And if you’re in it for the money, just consider this for a moment: at those rates, you are basically making $40-$45 an hour as an associate. Programmers can make more per hour, for a fraction of the stress.


  1. "At those prices, this better be the best damn law school in the country."


    1. But most other law schools aren't much cheaper. Yale actually ranks 20th in debt-financed cost of attendance (, behind such illustrious academies as Loyola Marymount, Cardozo, Fordham, Hofstra, Baylor, Pepperdine, and Southwestern. Defunct Whittier cost only $10k (about 3%) less than Yale for the three-year period of law school. Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall Chicago, and Cooley follow right on Shittier's heels.

      One would really have to be an idiot to attend a bottom-end toilet at a price approaching (never mind exceeding) Yale's. Unfortunately, many thousands of idiots a year do just that.

  2. The prices are only not any higher at these top schools since they are basically all legacy students now and the parents can pay most, if not all, the costs of attendance.

    Mix in a few minorities and a few middle class kids. Now claim diversity.

  3. I know it is slightly off topic, but I have to share what I just read.

    "The American Bar Association (ABA) has urged lawmakers to preserve the student loan interest deduction. 'Of particular interest to the American Bar Association is the powerful financial disincentive for law students to enter the important function of public service in our society. The deduction of interest on law school loans helps recent graduates to accept lower-paying, public-service jobs that they might not otherwise be able to afford,' the ABA told lawmakers on November 28."

    HAHAHAHA. There are almost none of these jobs, and recent grads are fighting tooth and nail over the few that exist.

    How out of touch is the ABA?

    To protect the (un)sophisticated consumers of legal education, the ABA should be campaigning against the Grad Plus loans and against all of the federal subsidies, both direct and indirect.

    (Apologies for double posting to OTLSS.)

    1. According to NALP, the class of 2016 had 32,000 employed people, give or take. There were 2,700 working in government, bar passage required jobs. Another 1,700 worked in Public Interest, bar passage required. That's 4,300 of those public service jobs that "desperately need filled."

      Meanwhile, only 24,000 had Bar Pass required jobs at all, and 3,500 were completely unemployed.

    2. Heh. The total number of unemployed was near-parity to that of the government/public interest jobs.

      If that's not inspiring, I don't know what is! Place your bets, folks, place your bets... red or black?

  4. Yale can set high prices because anyone who wants to be a lawyer would go there and pay whatever. But the problem is this sets the ceiling very high. I've seen TTTTs charging $45K a year.

    It's the same thing with the GRE for admission. Once Harvard accepted that, the toilets will start accepting the GRE.

    1. Über-toilets often charge more than that. Cooley charges $51k per year. Thomas Jefferson charges $48k. California Western charges $49k. And these may not be the highest rates coming out of über-toilets.

      The Yales don't establish a ceiling so much as a standard. At first, that seems not to make sense: after all, substantially equal pricing across the board would not work for most other commodities (I treat the JD as a commodity these days). Nobody would pay much the same price for a Cadillac and a Chevrolet, or for chuck roast and chateaubriand. Why does it happen with JDs? Because the full range of commodities isn't available to everyone. Anyone with the money can buy a Cadillac, but not just anyone can buy a JD from Yale. For many people, the choice is Cooley or nothing. Although anyone faced with that choice should opt for nothing, many people don't understand that. And most prospective Cooleyite lemmings have access to unlimited funds through federally guaranteed student loans. So Cooley can charge Yale-like prices. Indeed, it does just that—and keeps raising tuition every year at rates vastly in excess of inflation.

    2. Old Guy, The price to attend Yale or other elite schools is available to just about anyone with the cash. I'm not talking about tuition. I'm talking about your family making a seven figure "donation." The Kushner family made a $2.5 million "gift" to Harvard and shortly thereafter, Jared happened to be accepted.

    3. True, 7:39. Daniel Golden's book The Price of Admission describes the practice of buying one's way into élite undergraduate schools. According to Golden, Duke University turned itself from an obscure backwater into an élite academy precisely by pandering to rich kids whose parents would "donate" seven-figure sums. The practice of admissions for dollars is known in hackademic jargon as "development", and potential beneficiaries such as the young Kushner are known as "development cases". Duke has an entire "development office" just for this purpose.

      I shouldn't be surprised if "development" extended to law schools as well.

    4. Not true. Kushner was competitive for Harvard. The donation likely helped him get in over 6 other applicants who were also competitive for Harvard. If you are not competitive for Harvard, a donation will not help.

      Lots of people who are legacies, arecompetitive for Harvard and whose families made multimillion dollar donations did not end up at Harvard. Some of these people end up at Columbia or Penn, without the legacy status, so they were good students.

      It is very hard to buy your way into Harvard.

    5. Duke is not all that competitive. It is really hard to get into Harvard or Yale as an undergraduate because of the horribly low acceptance rate. Lots of very qualified people are rejected because there are not enough places for them. Even legacies are accepted at twice the rate of others, but many qualified legacies are rejected.

    6. I don't know Kushner's case, although as I recall it was discussed in Golden's book, and people in the know did report that Kushner wasn't competitive for Harvard.

      In any event, when a "donation" from Daddy gives one an advantage over others, it is obvious that money talks at the admissions office. Old Guy's parents certainly weren't able to "donate" $2.5 million to a university; indeed, Old Guy nearly had to drop out a couple of times, owing to a shortage of money.

    7. Dick Nixon's dickDecember 11, 2017 at 1:02 PM

      Duke was a backwater college and law school. It used to be called Trinity College for almost 60 years. Then tobacco barons James Buchanan Duke and Benjamin Newton Duke came along. They also were big in energy, specifically electrical power. These two brothers founded the Southern Power Co. Which was later reconstituted as Duke Energy. They also dabbled in textiles. At any rate, these two rich cocksuckers formed the Duke Endowment and the school was renamed Duke University in 1924. The college was eager to set itself as an elite college. The law school was likewise aggressive in this period to make a name for itself. It paid high salaries to attract law professors. The professors were lazy, useless shits back then too. Believe me. It also started offering scholarships to young men who set themselves apart in college. I graduated 2nd in my class at Whittier College (1934). It’s well known that I was offered an undergrad scholarship to Harvard, but my family couldn’t afford the room and board. So I had to forego the opportunity to study at Harvard with the establishment elites whom I hated from the on. But I did put several of these assholes in my administration in key roles.

      I refer the reader to this passage of page 20 of my 1,090 page polemic, RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon.

      ‘One day during my last year at Whittier I saw a notice on the bulletin board announcing twenty-five $250 tuition scholarships to the new Duke University Law School in Durham, North Carolina. I applied, and only after I had won and accepted one did I learn that the students called this offer the “meat grinder,” because of the twenty-five scholarships available for the first year, only twelve were renewed for the second.’

      Now back to my points. See, we had it just as hard as you with the non-renewable scholarships. And the job prospects weren’t too great either. Ever heard of the Depression? I was a member of the law review too. Back then it was called Law and Contemporary Problems. I was also elected president of Duke’s Student Bar Association. Only one New York firm showed much interest in me. And with the recession of 1937 I wasn’t so keen on starting out in that cold and expensive city. I applied to the FBI but never heard back from them. Fucking assholes. And I made the prestigious legal honor society, the Order of the Coif. I still couldn’t get shit. So I went home and passed the California state bar with only 6 weeks to prepare for the fucking thing. I then got a job with Whittier’s oldest law firm and within a year of doing estate and divorce cases I became a named partner there. See what I’m saying? If I can do it, anyone can.

  5. Shit, Yale put almost 10% of its employed students in university or law school paid for jobs.

  6. It's funny that you people are floored that legal education is so overpriced. The legal profession has been overcharging for services for as long as anyone can remember, so ridiculous markups for services is just part of the culture. Even now, with such a glut of attorneys, fees for any kinds of services normal people need are still ridiculously high. When will the "legal fee bubble" burst? I'm sure with falling enrollment the "legal education" bubble will burst at some point, but probably too late.

    Not only are feels gratuitously inflated, but the whole legal system is a huge Rube-Goldberg machine that operates to the benefit of those gaming the system, requiring multiple unnecessary steps to complete simple tasks--multiple hearings to dispose of simple misdemeanor cases, continuations, motions for this and that... Don't even get me started on child custody stuff.

    For example, we have a family court here in the county where I live that was paying ad-litem attorneys to represent indigent parents and children whose cases were handled in the court. One year they managed to rack up an average of 60 hours of legal services (at taxpayer expense) provided for every day that court was in session. That's not counting whatever legal services were provided by the attorneys who were actually paid by parties who were not indigent!

    I feel kind of bad for decent lawyers who started out decades ago and now can't make a decent living. But I don't feel sorry for anyone who matriculated in law school in the past decade who is whining about not being able to pay their student loans and having to work in crap jobs. If you were smart enough to go to law school at that point, you should have been smart enough to do a little research and decide it was a bad idea!

    1. Housing court in at least one of the five boroughs in NYC is like that. A case that can be done with in one date is postponed to let the lawyers use their retainer that they are on from housing companies.


    Back on February 6, 2010, Kashmir Hill and David Lat posted an ATL entry labeled “Clarence Thomas Clarifies: His Clerks Aren’t ‘TTT’.” This refers to a quote from him, during his talk to law students at the University of Florida. Take a look at this portion of that article:

    “A UF student asked about the Ivy League bias in hiring Supreme Court clerks — a practice that Justice Thomas’s conservative colleague, Justice Antonin Scalia, has publicly defended. CT responded:

    People like their comfort zone, and we have allowed qualifications to be defined by where you go to school…

    Eight of the nine of us [justices] are from the Ivy leagues, so it’s natural that you go back to the Ivy Leagues… I don’t believe they have a monopoly on intelligence. I also don’t believe they have a monopoly on the best kids to clerk…

    I don’t even think that all of us on the Court should be from the Ivy leagues and from just one part of the country. I have a preference actually for non-Ivy league law clerks, simply because I think clerks should come from a wide range of backgrounds. And I don’t have that pedigree. I’m not a part of this new or faux nobility…

    Last time we checked, Thomas was a Yale Law School graduate. But he used this opportunity to talk about his upbringing in Georgia for a bit:

    I think there are smart kids a lot of places. My clerks last year were from George Mason, Rutgers, George Washington, and Creighton. My clerks this year are from Harvard, Yale, Utah, and Notre Dame. And they’re really bright kids, but there is a bias. If you look at smart bloggers — or self-proclaimed smart bloggers — they referred to my clerks last year as TTT — ‘third tier trash.’ That’s the attitude that you’re up against.

    This year marked the first time SCOTUS has used the word “blog” in an opinion. Thomas’s utterance of the term “TTT” on the record must also be some kind of first (although he appears to have erred regarding what it stands for; it is generally regarded as an acronym for “third-tier toilet,” not “third-tier trash”).

    As we mentioned before the jump, your Above the Law editors have never referred to his clerks as TTT. Has Justice Thomas been reading AutoAdmit?”

    Thank you for using the term TTT, even if incorrectly, sir. People use those letters to describe low-ranked ABA-accredited cesspools. Seeing that these commodes provide most of their graduates with garbage employment prospects, they are lucky that those JDs don’t set up tent cities in front the law schools.

    1. I've never said that everyone coming out of a George Mason or a Rutgers is "trash", although in the cases of Creighton and Cooley that probably is true (or close enough). I have said, and still do say, that those schools are not worth attending.

      This is a rare occasion on which I'm going to take Scalia's side. The Supreme Court gets stacks of applications for clerkships. Why should it bother with people who attended fourth-, fifth-, or sixth-tier law schools? The very fact of attending one of those dumps in recent years suggests poor judgment. And although plenty of people from Harvard and Yale would make inferior clerks, rare is the person from a toilet school who would make even a decent clerk, let alone a superior one.

    2. Says who? I am not a lawyer but how hard is it to be a law clerk? The lawyers that make the news in trial law usually don't attend ivy league schools. Scalia's father was a Professor at CUNY Brooklyn College. And furthermore, who says that the Supreme Court always chooses the cases with the most merit? Who is to say that they get it write most of the time? And why are all the Justices from the Ivy League? Why not one or two who are distinguished in their careers rather than use the Ivy League Litmus test?

    3. I can tell what's going on here. That student at the University of Florida must regard her fourth-tier toilet as a "prestigious" establishment and believe that only "bias" can explain the dearth of graduates with clerkships at the Supreme Court. Well, the U of Florida is not Cooley, but it certainly isn't Harvard either, or even Boston University. It's another mediocre law school with 15% unemployment (far greater than the rate for the general public) and humdrum to poor outcomes for the rest of the class. People from the U of Florida simply are not competitive for those clerkships—just as they weren't competitive for Harvard and Yale, which is why they ended up at "prestigious" Florida.

    4. Trials and appeals are not the same thing. Often different counsel will be retained for an appeal—and rarely will such counsel come from a Cooleyite toilet.

      The Supreme Court doesn't choose cases solely for their merit; it chooses them in part for their legal significance. There simply isn't time to hear all cases that appear meritorious, so the Supreme Court selects those that are likely to have broad and enduring importance in the development of the law.

  8. If you go to Yale Law School, you get lots of "prestige" while you are there and probably good outcomes for several years after law school graduation. At age 50+, it is a throw of the dice as to whether attending Yale Law School was a big mistake. Your degree does not likely buy a full time permanent job as a lawyer if you lose your job after age 50. Your degree is likely worthless after that job loss. A Yale Law degree in no way exempts an older lawyer from all of the problems of the legal job market.

    Attend Yale Law School at your own risk.

  9. It is still a matter of discretion. I don't believe that only an Ivy league clerk can determine what has braod and enduring importance.


    Here is the Law School Transparency report for the best overall law school in the country. These are the numbers for the class that entered Yale Law $chool in Fall 2016:

    25th percentile LSAT: 170
    50th percentile LSAT: 173
    75th percentile LSAT: 175
    25th percentile UGPA: 3.79
    50th percentile UGPA: 3.89
    75th percentile UGPA: 3.97

    Now, take a look at the figures for the group that started their legal $tudie$ at Yale Univer$ity, in Fall 2010:

    25th percentile LSAT: 171
    50th percentile LSAT: 173
    75th percentile LSAT: 176
    25th percentile UGPA: 3.81
    50th percentile UGPA: 3.91
    75th percentile UGPA: 3.96

    As you can see, the law school features lower 25th and 75th percentile LSAT scores, as well as decreased 25th and 50th percentile undergraduate GPAs. The median LSAT result was the same for both year. I suppose that is the result of smarter students eschewing law school, for the last several years.

    Here is the link to the Jordan Weissmann article to that effect. It was published back on April 10, 2012, under the headline “The Wrong People Have Stopped Applying to Law School.”

    Head to the Overview page for this school, also via LST:

    Employment Score: 78.3% for 2016 grads
    Under-Employment score: 12.3% for 2016 grads
    Bar Passage Rate: 96.3% for the Class of 2015
    Non-Discounted Cost: $298,219 for those starting in Fall 2017

    There is a large gulf between the school’s employment report for its Class of 2016 and Law School Transparency’s figures regarding employment and under-employment. It seems that LST takes the 19 grads that were in university and law school positions into account. In the final analysis, that is a weak-ass employment score, especially for the purported best law school in the United States.

  11. Let’s take a look at some of the idiotic tertiary student publications at this law school:

    "About Us

    The Yale Journal of Law & Feminism (YJLF) formed in 1987 to provide a forum for women's experiences as they have been structured, affected, controlled, discussed, and ignored by the law.

    We pride ourselves on our commitment to all inclusive structures - all members vote on submissions and can participate in all aspects of journal-creation. We are a diverse group of individuals, and include members of different races/ethnicities, genders, and orientations.

    We present differing feminist perspectives on a wide variety of topics. Our journal has included articles on reproductive freedom, the concerns of women of color, judicial prosecution of prostitutes, criticism of judicial deference to the military, and the feminization of poverty. We welcome exchanges with other feminist publications and seek to further the dialogue on all issues affecting women.

    We publish twice a year and receive advice and guidance from our distinguished Advisory Board. YJLF is printed in recycled paper containing fifteen percent post-consumer waste."

    You can print this journal on recycled toilet paper, since it is rubbish. I suppose that student editors need to have their estrogen levels tested first.

    “About Us

    The Yale Human Rights and Development Journal (YHRDLJ) is an annual publication that explores the tensions and congruences between human rights, development and the law, encouraging critical and creative thinking about challenges and solutions to challenges facing people around the globe. There is much discussion and debate over what these concepts mean and how they interrelate. These issues demand holistic, cross-cutting analysis, and so the Journal encourages writings that draw upon various academic disciplines, such as political science, public policy, economics, health and sociology. The YHRDLJ publishes pieces by academics, practitioners and students.

    We feature pieces representing the broadest possible range of perspectives. We welcome pieces that focus on different fields within the law, such as constitutional law, economic regulation, international law, and institutional reform, as well as pieces dealing with issues that arise in national (including U.S.), regional, and international contexts, in both the "industrialized" and the "developing" world.”

    Get real for a minute. Anyone with a functioning brain stem understands that big moneyed interests set the agenda. And since when is this nation a beacon of human rights? How many times have we interfered with, i.e. “overturned” election results in other countries? I suppose we take in so many immigrants and refugees from those place, out of a sense of guilt.

    1. Law and Feminism:):):):)

      Here's a summary: Women are the victims of constant male oppression all the time. Therefore, women at Yale have it far harder than working class men living in an RV and working in fracking.

    2. Oh, yes, the US and human rights. Let's see, just for starters: transcontinental genocide, slavery, theft of half of Mexico, conquest of Hawai'i, colonial empire extending from Latin America to the Philippines, suppression of leftists, politically motivated murders, police brutality, rehabilitation of fascists, disruption of elections and governments throughout the world, death squads, the world's highest rates of incarceration by far (more prisoners than in China and India combined), entrenched racial inequalities, war, war, war… And who better to discuss the subject than the privileged students of Yale?

  12. On criminal cases, where it doesn't hurt my clients interests, I attempt to get the case done with as few court appearances as possible to avoid driving up their costs. There are some of us like that out there.


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