Thursday, April 4, 2013

Hunger Games for Deans (Law School Fratricide)

Abbé: You are right, gentlemen, overrun the country: it belongs to the strong or the crafty man who seizes it. You have profited from the times of ignorance, of superstition, of folly, to despoil us of our heritage and to trample us underfoot in order to fatten yourselves on the substance of the wretched: tremble lest the day of reason arrive. —Dictionnaire philosophique
Recently, a university functionary replied to a Wall Street Journal article about the increasing student loan default rate that has bizarrely not deterred "investors" from buying more Sallie Mae bonds. (i.e., They are betting real money that the special snowflakes with "graphic design" degrees will pay their "dues" back, with interest. LOL!) But ooops, the Journal used for its image of academia a stock photograph of the University of Southern California campus. USC, horrified at the juxtaposition, attempted to disassociate from inferior-ranked and for-profit schools hinted at in the article. The USC cared only to protect its brand value from the taint of the TTT's out there. USC had no desire to even be pictured in an article about growing student loan debt and default:
A recent article on student loans ("Student-Loan Securities Stay Hot—Investors' Hunger for Returns Is Driving Demand Even as More Borrowers Fall Behind on Payments," Money & Investing, March 4) is accompanied by a photo from the campus of the University of Southern California, giving a misleading impression of USC and its graduates. USC administers the nation's largest self-funded pool of financial aid, at $270 million, offering aid to more than 60% of its students. The university's overall loan default rate is under 2%—far less than the average default rates for government and private loans that the article does mention. K******** H*********, Vice President of Admissions and Planning. March 25, 2013. (Emphasis added)

Is there any honor among well-credentialed thieves? We view the ScamDeans as a unified country-club of similarly-dressed potbellied golfer-dudes, and the "scam" in general as a single system; when push comes to shove, however, each school is selfish. Academic Institutions are united only as far as it suits their perceived self-interests. Morality and honor is not part of their survival strategy, any more than it is part of a wolf's, or jackal's. This means that with enough pressure, reformers can divide them—perhaps divide and conquer. No dean of a traditional school like USC is going to go down for the count to shill for some silly Iowa Coastal School of Law or "Phoenix University of Phuxix Law School in Phoenix" or anything unmentionable in polite conversation. No academic—not even Professor Dumbledum—is going to risk his untanned hide and high-tier status to bail out his former friends like fourth-tier "Tulsa Tam". 

Our enemy is not a mighty dictator bent on legally sacking up every cent it can, but many petty tyrants, each vulnerable if isolated. And isolated they are becoming, slowly but surely, as the reality of no jobs slowly seeps into the public's consciousness. Each 0L that reads the truth of the situation tightens the squeeze. As the scam's media/street reputation collapses, watch the T1 ScamDeans throw their low-status partners into the trash bin of exposed scams, right next to Ponzi & Madoff. Each school will throw the ones below it to the wolves. It sounds dramatic, though the process is and will be slow and subtle and only in outside appearance will it be sudden. But the scam is being exposed, and the bigshots in the lifeboats are preparing to watch the weaklings drown in freezing water, not so much as throwing them a piece of wood. They will think only, "Better them then us. We have a right to be here." It will fall down the chain, as sure as humans pulling a scam can continue to be selfish. The HYS types will always be well-protected, but that is barely 2% of the total graduates. The 98%? Hunger games are coming, TTT deans, and your number will come up soon enough.

p.s. Hint for out-of-shape ScamDeans/Yellow-toothed Dumbledums: Go for the bow and arrow, and climb a tree. Aim for older kids, they're easier to hit.
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Read my book-length satire/exposé of law school, Smarter Than Socrates: The End of the Law School Era.

22 comments:

  1. My dad was a prof at Vanderbilt and so I grew up surrounded by deans and professors. Believe me dear readers, Mr. Bell speaks the truth. If you think law is status obsessed, you should see university deans and faculty when it comes to their derision of "lesser schools". The community of Vanderbilt (which I must say is no Harvard, despite my fond memories of it) would die to think it was lumped in with Cumberland School of Law (Stamford) or for that matter, University of Tennessee School of Law. "After all, we do serious scholarship here", would, I imagine be their collective reply.

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  2. The professors may think this but the deans are money hungry and out "shopping for deals." Why else, in God's name, would Western Michigan University (which is a decent local school offering a lot of good technical degree programs that actually lead to jobs) get into bed with Cooley Cess Pool? The tail is wagging the dog now days.

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  3. I imagine a prof from a top school like the University of Chicago might not want to be lumped in with a prof from a school like the Unversity of Colorado, and might laugh when the latter touts that he is from a "top 50" law school on his website.

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  4. Because law deans buy into the system where Top 10% of class gets big law and big money -- and we know they buy into it because of the ceremonies, galas, "scholarship fund" for top 10% -- shouldn't they buy into a system where Top 10% law schools get to survive and thrive? Rest of the "class" needs to figure it out for themselves.

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    Replies
    1. The response will be "Do as I say, not as I do," in typical Boomer fashion.

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    2. Having a law school faculty is versatile... when said school leaves law to become a welding school.

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  5. This is so true, and its when I can't wait until the turd actually touches the fan blade in the Great Law School Winddown and "reputable" schools face the prospect of involuntarily smaller class sizes or taking kids that don't meet their standards.

    Those same profs now arguing for every method in the book to keep schools open will suddenly be the loudest in advocating stiffer accreditation standards, albeit for a small group of schools that they perceive vastly inferior to theirs.

    I'm guessing behind the scenes right now, the prestige-minded ones at various powerful entities are already putting together some plan to get Cooley, TJLS, Florida Coastal, Charlotte, Phoenix, NYLS, and the other stand-alone, gutter fishing law schools out of the business without running afoul of antitrust law. You KNOW the deans at places like GWU or UC-Davis or Florida State don't think that highly of the TTTT behind the scenes and that when push comes to shove they're going to turn on their lowest members and offer them up as sacrifices.

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    1. I long for the day when law schools break ranks and the "good" schools trash the "bad" schools. Imagine Harvard money going after Cooley...

      Maybe we don't need to do the heavy lifting ourselves. We just need to keep nudging the boulder to the edge of the cliff and let gravity do the damage when it starts to fall.

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    2. What exactly do you think "Havard money" can do to Cooley? Are they going to pay 0Ls NOT to attend?

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    3. Maybe "Harvard Money" is a stretch, but it's hard to argue places like Michigan State and Detroit-Mercy don't have an institutional incentive to see places like Cooley disappear.

      What I would expect is 1) more aggressive "attack politics" advertising (i.e., calling out lower-ranked schools for their shortcomings in 0L literature); 2) suddenly, mid-range schools start backing initiatives to raise admission standards across the board, reasonably limit accreditation, tie accreditation to loan repayment, etc.

      There's too much money in the middle of the pool - the 152-158 LSAT kids - to not have a dirty fight over them. Until now, the competition really hasn't been there, so we haven't seen capitalism bring out the worst in these people yet.

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    4. I really think the different law schools in Michigan have different constituencies. MSU draws from MSU. U of M draws from all over the country. WSU draws from metro-Detroit. U of D is a notch above Cooley for people who think they dodged a bullet. Cooley is a giant vacuum hose sucking loose change out of the couch cushions. That is why they have campuses everywhere. That is why they are attaching themselves to OU and Western etc.

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    5. And what happens when preferred market constituencies shrink past the point of sustainability?

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    6. I predict U of D closes. Cooley is a street fighter. They are well suited to survive.

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  6. Drexel: Two-year law degree. Cooley: partnering with Western Michigan. Arizona: tuition reduction. All gimmicks put out there by desperate law schools. LawProf prognosticated on this likely trend many many months ago. Specifically, he predicted cesspool schools would merge with other schools rather than shut down outright. Rutgers anyone? You know what happens when you have too many rats in a limited amount of space...soon the faculty will be eating each other in a disgusting gore fest. Can't wait to see that.

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    1. I hope Cooley's LeDic gets his LeDic-face gnawed off. Of course, he'll probably be the one doing most of the gnawing...the overgrown rodent.

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    2. There is a Cooley student planning on hanging a shingle, working 40 hours a week and clearing $100k once he has his golden ticket. Claims attorneys from better school are a bunch of losers. Any comment warriors are welcome to join in on schooling him. Google log in.

      http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2013/04/western_michigan_university_co_8.html#comments

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  7. I hope Painter dies.

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    Replies
    1. Here comes the FBI. Again.

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  8. May I suggest that we ban Painter and any and all discussion of him?

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  9. I have not posted any comments here until now. Nor did I comment on the Wed. Post, but I like to think that I maybe gave the so called "adjunct law professor" pause when he tries to rip apart Leiter from a cowardly anon hiding place.

    But yes it would be a favor to me if you ban all discussion of me just as Campos did.

    Otherwise you will forever get comments from the troll like the one @April 4th, 7:21PM

    I will write to the OLSS blog administrator about this as well.



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    1. Freeze, bullies! FBI! LINE UP against the wall!

      [Now watch the lazy roach "report" me to the FBI for "impersonating" them - LOL]

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