Thursday, March 7, 2013

Activism - Your First Mission

DISCLAIMER: You are solely responsible for your own actions! We're merely providing some interesting tools and suggestions for how you can bring the law school scam message to a wider audience.  Always utilize COMMON SENSE, and NEVER engage in any activity that can cause property damage or injury.

I’ve done lots of talking since this blog started, trying to put the future of the reform movement into perspective, to find out where people stand, and to figure out where we want to go.  And now it’s time to stop talking and start doing.

Let’s take a "MacGyver"-style inventory of what we have on hand - he's the guy sporting a mullet in the photo above, for those who are too young to remember.  What do we have access to?  Money?  No.  Time?  Not even much of that.  But lookey-here, we do have hundreds, perhaps thousands of readers, most of whom will be people specifically interested in law school, or people who have an active interest in dissuading others from attending. That is a huge resource, so let’s tap into it.

How?  Well, how about starting with $10.  As a donation to us?  Hell no.  I can get a far better return on your activism dollars than that.

With your $10, I want you to go to OfficeMax or Staples.  Buy a packet of 500 1” by 4” labels (Avery 5161 or 8161 template – 20 labels per sheet.)  Then print out 500 warning labels using the following pdf template.  (Test one sheet first.  If it doesn’t print in alignment with the labels, adjust the scale.  I found that 100% works for me.)  I modeled the text on the Surgeon General’s warnings on tobacco and alcohol products – everyone knows what they look like.  If you’ve got a better idea for the labels, then set it up, email me the pdf, and I’ll post it too.

They look like this:

Here's the link to the pdf: Warning Label pdf

For $10, you’ve now got 500 chances to make a difference, and you are in control of putting that precisely where people get addicted to the idea of law school.  That’s two cents per message.  That’s cheaper than Google ads.  Far more targeted, too, as we can physically put the message on the offending materials.  Here’s what I want you to do with your labels:

When you see something that is aimed at promoting the LSAT, law school, or legal careers, STICK A WARNING LABEL ON IT.  (Of course, remember the disclaimer above - no property damage please!  I strongly advise using the labels that are easy to remove!)

But be creative!  And be active about this.  See an LSAT prep course flyer at your school?  Label it.  See a poster advertising a local law school?  Label it.  Your used copies of law prep books, casebooks, LSAT prep books etc.?  Labels on all, please.

For example, go from this fairly attractive, harmless little book cover... this, the same book, but with a label that warns the reader that they're about to consume something that could seriously damage their future...

Simple.  Just like the warnings on a packet of cigarettes, or a delicious bottle of booze.

That’s your first lesson in activism.  Getting the message out through very simple, very cheap means, something that people might remember.  Use the resources we have – people who have access to the right places, the very places where law schools recruit the next unwitting class.

Now it’s up to you.  Take this and run with it.  Develop a taste for stepping away from the keyboard and putting into action what you believe in.

And send me photos of your work.  Anonymity is guaranteed.  I’ll post the best and most creative each week.

The point is to bring the message to people early, rather than have them stumble upon this blog late in the day.  If they find this blog, then chances are that law schools have managed to get their claws into them first, sowing the poisonous seeds of the idea that law might be a great career choice, making that all-important (and deceptive) first impression.  So let’s nip that in the bud.  From now on, we take the battle to the source, the undergrad hallways and noticeboards, the libraries where bored students peruse career guidebooks, where people get the very idea that they should go to law school.  We don’t wait for people to find us, when it’s too late to make a difference.  We find them first.

We don't want to treat the cancer, we want to prevent it.

Update - I know, this isn't necessarily the best idea, nor the best execution of this idea, but it is a starting point, and it's the first practical activism plan actually developed beyond a mere idea and into a workable, clear plan.  I chose this because it is something that you can prepare from the comfort of your home in private, it's cheap, and it really requires next to no effort or time commitment. It can also be done in the knowledge that it will not be linked back to you in any way.  Nobody will see you, and I know people here value their anonymity.  I hope that some of you will actually try this, even if just for the purpose of giving some practical feedback. If we can't even participate in this lowest-possible level of activism, is there much hope that our message will spread beyond these blogs?

Another update - I have reworked this post to eliminate any idea that I wanted you to engage in property damage to get the point across.  I don't.  I expect you all to use a little common sense.  You are the ones who will get into trouble if you destroy property, not us, so don't put them anywhere you might get into trouble.  I seriously doubt that campus police will bang you up for the night for sticking a warning label on a photocopied LSAT prep course flyer.  You are using these materials at your own risk!  Use removable stickers, don't post them anywhere they might cause permanent damage.


  1. Pass the flyers around at any jobs or career fair maybe? Either on campus or wherever they are held?

    A daytime TV commercial for all the unemployed that are thinking about another career?

    But the label is too absolute. It should say Law School "Can" cause or "Has been known to cause"

    And an interesting thing and off topic: I'm looking at a pack of Marlboro cigarettes right now, and the only warning on it says:


    Cigarette Smoke Contains Carbon Monoxide

    1. There's multiple different SG warnings - at least four different ones currently used for cigarettes. The label took parts from each.

      Here's what I want to avoid though: a debate about the content of the label. That gets us nowhere.

      We can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

      Ok, the labels could be revised at some point, redesigned, whatever. But rather than spending all day talking about that and once again agreeing to put any kind of real action off until some unknown date in the future, how about we give this idea a try? Like, today? Put it on your "to do" list - "Buy Labels".

      Then once we see how it works - or doesn't work, as the case may be - we can tailor it based upon actual results and make it better. Perhaps the writing is too small. Perhaps the labels are too small. Perhaps the wording is wrong. But the comments section is not the place to test that - the only place it can be tested is out there, in the real world.

    2. Flyers? Did you read the post?

      The thing about flyers (which is not even what this is about) is that they take time to hand out, it is awkward for all your friends and profssors to see you standing there making a scene and being difficult.

      I like the sticker idea because it is quick and easy and private. Nobody sees you do it. There are no awkward converawstions with profs about what you are doing, and there are no awwkward scenes where people look at the flyer and toss it on the floor and you end up making a mess.

    3. Yeah man this sticker thing is anonymous. No names, no faces. Like a baby version of V for Vendetta. I'm not being funny either. Who has the time to hand out fliers? I don't have an afternoon free to waste my time and show my face doing that. Remember that scamblogging is still a fringe activity. You want to spend an afternoon at your university looking like a tool handing out fliers? Not me.

  2. I like it! This is about as easy as activism gets and thanks to whoever put this little project together. I agree that it is about time we started to do more than bicker in the comments and listen to Painter get wasted and go off the rails.

  3. Wha?????

    There is a world beyond my computer, where people actually walk around and look at stuff and do stuff? That's the plot of the Matrix, right?

    God forbid anyone here actually ventures out there to spread the message. Neo or some group of Hugo Weaving robots would come and kick your ass in slow motion. Maybe Leiter, in a trenchcoat and shades, bending over backwards and windmilling his arms or some shit like that as he dodges the "facts" you're throwing at him, before he flies across the room and breathes some of his foul breath in your face and you end up dying in real life.

    I'm on board with this.

  4. Nobody sees you do it. And that is fine. And make the label sound like law school is guaranteed to make one severely indebted and ultimately looney. And that is fine too.

    But remember that the label has the blog address on it and it all comes home to the blog.

    And I say this out of concern: the poster here is putting his great big John Hancock on the label suggestion. It is very brave.

    Not to nitpick, but can that lead to liability for you?

    I mean, when editorials are made on the local news channel, they are always preceded or followed by a disclaimer that goes something like:

    "The opinions expressed in no way reflect or are endorsed by the station or management or producers."

    Or the Library that has the book which the baked on in the hot sun label defaced when Marian Madam Librarian tried to tear it off.

    And again not to be a wise guy, but a nice long stream of pepper mace in the eyes by the campus police is much better than a cup of coffee for waking a busy beaver sticker wacker up in the morning :O

    1. Librarian: "Dear OTLSS, you put a sticker on a book. Please pay us $250 for a new one."

      OTLSS: "Go fuck yourself."

      Problem solved.

      But you do make a good point. Should the blog name be removed? And if it is, then where do people go for more information? The internet, where they will be inundated with 99% pro-law sites and 1% scamblogs?

      I suggest that Mr./Ms. OTLSS rewords his/her post to put a big disclaimer at the top that says that care should be taken to avoid damage to property, and that stickers should only be put on surfaces where they can be easily removed, and that those EZ Peel stickers should be used and not the high strength things.

    2. Good points, guys. I have reworded the post itself to remove some of my suggestions for use.

      I think that we do need to keep the source of the sticker on there though, not for self-promotion purposes, but to make sure that we give people a place where they can get more information about this issue.

      But like I say in the post, just use some common sense. Don't get yourselves into trouble over these stickers. Don't overthink them either - it's a first step and it's harmless. Don't put them anywhere that might be considered permanent property damage. Putting a removable sticker on the cover of a paperback will result in a librarian rolling her eyes and removing it. Don't start sticking them onto your school's priceless and unique archive of two hundred year old documents or anything like that.

  5. Keep label as is, reword instructions for use.

  6. Hey Outside the LawSchool Scam admins/editors/whatever. Email me, I want to chat with you:

    keith AT associatesmind DOT com

  7. Think of the humanity!

    Think of the starving law professors!

  8. (In a whiny voice)

    "Meh, I don't like the writing. It should say something else."

    "Meh, I don't want to get in trouble."

    "Meh, it's too much work for me. I think we need to just talk about this."

    Which is exactly why we're still talking about this shit three years later. Everybody always finds an excuse to *not* do something, especially a bunch of whiny law students and law grads who are so afraid of their own shadows and afraid of breaking any rules that they let themselves get taken advantage of.

    Look people, the law school machine has billions of dollars in its budget, limitless publicity, countless spokespeople all scamming new students every day. We have a few blogs. We've got to do more to get the message out there. We don't just need fricking labels (although that is a cute little start). We need demonstrations, we need lobbyists, we need TV interviews, newspaper articles, books, we need publicity *out the ass*.

    Anyone who thinks that blogging alone will do much to change things is dumb.

    I hope this project takes off and I hope that the next step is organizing a demonstration outside a law school in a big city, placards and signs and banners and chanting and all. Get on the local news.


    1. "I have thought about the additional debt I am going to accumulate attending law school. But, in the end it is all worth it. No one can take away your education or the experience and lessons you learn in college."

      What an idiot. Elicia Benjamin (the chick who said that in the article) is screwed.

      That is the message that prelaws still believe. But it's wrong. We're not getting our message out. Articles like this are just more and more evidence of that.

    2. Go post on this article in comments. Keep it classy. This young lady is about to go a half million in the whole. Lets warn her.

    3. Me too - awaiting moderation!

    4. Great job everyone! There are quite a few posts!

  10. Another form of activism is to post in the comment sections like the article you see above and the Detroit Free Press article I linked to yesterday about Cooley Law Homeland Security degree. It's free and you can do it from your computer.

    1. I like that idea too.

      If you want, send me an email. I can set you up as a writer here, and you could then post links to these kinds of articles as actual posts, with a call for us all to go over there temporarily and add comments.

      Remember that our only resource is a large army of readers who happen also to be good at writing comments too. Sending us all to these news stories once in a while would be another easy way of getting the message spread, as you correctly point out.

      If you're interested, let me know.

    2. what's your email

    3. outsidethelawschoolscam at gmail dot com.

  11. Sweet Lord. I never heard about "1L of a Ride" until now.

    I know McClurg is just being a "humorist" and trying to be "helpful," but...I've never wanted to plaster more stickers over a book in my entire life.

    Run for the hills, kids. Just more honey set out by spiders to bait flies.

  12. OK, so the kids have dodged the campus police and all of the mildly sticky stickers have been stuck, and now some people are scratching their post adolescent heads and popping their pimples and reading the decals and visiting this blog for the first time as a result.

    The way it reads now it is hard to find out the purpose of the blog with a quick glance, and one will have to hope that the new readers will go thru past posts (and some posts might be more important for them to read than others)

    Wheras if they went to Third Tier Reality they would read right at the top the stated purpose and goal, and even more get acquainted content if they do a little scrolling and read Nando's profile.

    Granted Campos didn't have such stuff, but he attracted enough attention based on his position as an insider.

    Like...uh...what was it Charles Foster Kane had at the top of his Daily Chronicle? A Declaration of Principles?

    "And so you see? Painter ain't the dumb fuck you always think he is." He said, and with a merry twinkle.

    But man oh man.......Campos just like dropped off the map. Has he been publishing anything anywhere lately?

    1. I think the purpose is obvious to anyone who bothers reading. But...oh fuck man...I hate to say might have a point.

      Should someone add a sentence or two that could go under the title that says something like how this is a student-led continuation of ITLSS, and its purpose is to highlight the dangers of going to law school?

    2. You mean like this?

      "The purpose of this blog is to get 500 souls to commit to sending the Paintroach $1,000 each. And to disseminate all of his amazing poetry and YouTube links, of course."

      Go start your own roachy blog and bore your own readers. Like, both of them. Stop blogsquatting here.

    3. See what I mean? I offered the anon stalker my heart. And my love. And the hand of friendship and peace and with arms wide open.

      He is like the Grinch that stold Christmas. He wants to be loved, but just can't bring himself to be one of the gang, and hence the schizophrenic change of identities. It has to do with his early childhood and later hobo trips around the globe as the world traveling transient bum that calls home any place he wants to lay his hat (including the periphery of a law school and law industry that will lend him money to live on no questions asked)

    4. Guys, be cool. Painter, how about limiting it to one comment per day and leaving it at that? As discussed earlier, we really can't have this place turning into the Painter Show every day. It's a waste of your time to post ten comments and have every single one deleted, and it's a waste of my time to have to clean up after you the morning after. We both have better things to do. One comment, then move on. Don't get into these pointless internet fights.

    5. *I'm* not one of the gang? Every single person ON this blog (except for the poop sculptor) wants you to go away.

      You are the blogsquatter here. Stop it. And yes, I just coined that word, but in your case it is very apt.

    6. Well, it was never as many as 10 comments in this blogs short history.

      Maybe more like half that.

      Oh well, I will leave you with the clever transient that buys investment buffalo nickels with student loan money most likely.

      You overrate me by calling it the Painter show too. As if anyone cares?

      But good enough. I will leave you with this:

      Lay off Leiter because he can possibly crush all of you in a career sense.

      If you want to deal with Leiter do it directly and face to face and you will also sleep better and with a lot less paranoia on both sides.

      If you want to become activists, do it within legal means and forums that are safe to your young selves, and that will not hurt your futures.

      Blog squatting as a term is a new one, and prety funny,and be sure to give all credit due to the transient bum for coining that term.

      And if you need advice on blog layout and presentation ask Nando,I guess.

      Campos left, but the way he left was a fine howdy do are you for sure, and I hope he is OK.

      And remember that youse all are just bloggers and are not media, and that if media comes a calling, be wary.

      Thuh now 0 times a day poster painter roach.

    7. @1203,

      Oh kiss my ass. Can you even go 24 hours without breaking your promise and posting here again? All signs point to no.

    8. Oh kiss my poonis. Do youse all know what a poonis is?


      An asshole.

      Because if pee comes out of my penis, then poo comes out of my poonis.

      And lordie knows what the ladies call their bottomwholes? Something far more polite, one imagines. A pagina? A snufflechump? But I know nothing of such matters.

      I shall now leave you once and for all. Kiss my poonis, my banjo hating comrades. For I know that Leiter sings heartily to the dulcit tones of my strings. Oh how we sing!

      But not songs delighting in the failures of people like me, nor songs foretelling the collapse of law schools. Just mere merriment, man to man. He, like me, has a heart of gold. And a poonis too!

    9. You managed to go 4 hours and 12 minutes before you broke your promise. You really are a piece of shit, you know?

      Maybe your boyfriend could sculpt you into something useful.

    10. Does Leiter put his penis in your poonis? Or is it the other way around?

    11. How surprising, ANOTHER broken promise.

      Only took you a little over an hour to break this one.

      @Moderator, now that that whole "one post per day" is clearly out the window, will you at long last block the roach IP address?

      I KNOW that it keeps chirping that it will never post here again.

      Why not block the IP address, just to be sure?


  14. Inside the mind of Jeffrey Dahlmer

    "Because if pee comes out of my penis, then poo comes out of my poonis. And lordie knows what the ladies call their bottomwholes? Something far more polite, one imagines. A pagina? A snufflechump? But I know nothing of such matters"

    1. No WAY is it even that deep. More like:

      gimmegimmegimme chirpchirpchirp gimmechirp momma's money touro witchcraft chirpchirp!!!