Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Opposition's Third Epistle: Great Plains, Great Opportunity, Great Newspapers


Generic Law Scam Victims
1000 Unemployment Lane
Loserville, USA (possibly Florida)

RE:  "Enormous Demand!"  Pack the Ma Joad in the Wagon!

Greetings Suckers:

I write today to tell you about a recent article I read in the Omaha...Whatever's website.  Since most of you special snowflakes utterly fail at reading anything, I'll put the money quote front and center and bold it:
Despite some gloomy forecasts and the drop in applications, there is enormous demand for lawyers, according to professors, practicing lawyers and law college deans.
Have you idiots figured this out yet?  You can have statistics, charts, data, and depressed maniacs in the bread line.  Stephen Hawking could mathematically prove law school is a bad idea. You could have God fly off his cloudy throne and say "law school? lol."  

We've got a Journalism-Industrial complex hell-bent on roses, lollipops, and unicorns.  We win.

But this isn't propaganda written by some feckless law school graduate shilling in a CS office.  Oh, no, this is objective reporting written by a professional adhering to the holy unwritten standards of fine journalism.  He can't just write "law school awesome enroll Creighton now."  He has to couch it in exceptions, conjunctions, and other tools of logical destruction.

For example, the word "if" is one of my favorites, e.g., "if you go to law school and if you do well, you can make millions!"  And likewise:

[A]rea experts say demand for lawyers is high if graduates look in the right places and specialties.
 Ah, yes, and what areas are those?
[Creighton dean] Culhane said opportunities for new lawyers are brightest in highly regulated industries — banking, health care, governmental relations of all kinds. Creighton, she said, has had success in recent years sending students to Washington for semester internships at federal agencies and congressional committees.
As few law schools can get you an internship in Washington, D.C., this is big deal.  But what about those areas, like banking, health care, and governmental relations, where would I go to practice these things?  What geographic areas are bloomin' like Outback's onions?
Nebraska law Dean Susan Poser said most reports of the profession's demise stem from New York, Chicago and Los Angeles...
Poser also said the NU law school has started a solo and small firm concentration to train students in being generalists, the kind required by firms outside of large cities. Demand there is high, she said, while jobs are shrinking in urban centers for lawyers who want the spotlight of media, finance or entertainment law. “In western Nebraska there is a shortage,” Poser said.
So there you have it, new graduates. You need to focus in highly regulated areas and look to smaller, more rural areas.  Or something.  Are you writing this down?!  I mean, it should be clear to everyone that there's no coherent plan here aside from clutching desperately to the fact that Omaha and Kansas City and Minneapolis are ever-so-slightly better than Chicago or New York, but remember, the average reader doesn't know or care about that.  All they see is optimism and healthy economics.  And Nebraska and Iowa are kickin' ass on that front:
The region's lowest ABA-reported employment score — 62 percent at Des Moines-based Drake University Law School — still outpaced the ABA national number of 56 percent. The highest score went Iowa City's University of Iowa College of Law, where its 76 percent of 2012 graduates employed in a job requiring a law license beat the national number by 20 percentage points.
See what he did there?  A prestigious professional school can only get 3/4 of its graduates jobs and it's all roses and sunshine because they're beating the hell out of the national average.

And we know as a matter of empirical truth that remarkably few people read beyond headlines or the first paragraph.  So the journalist wields amazing power over setting public perceptions, a power that brings with it the responsibility to help continue the scam and participate in closet advertising that assuages doubt ("overcoming objections" in sales literature).  So the overwhelming majority of people who read this article will see this:
For Midlands law school grads, job picture still healthy
And will never, ever, ever read this:

Documents that used to require the attention of a lawyer for routine or cursory examination purposes are now often handled by computers and document scanners, she said.

Or this:
Brislen did say there are more graduates than in recent years competing for jobs, and that his firm supports Creighton's recent decision to admit fewer first-year students.
“The market is very competitive for recent graduates,” Brislen said. “Compared to five years ago, it seems that there are more graduates who had not secured employment by the time they graduate.”

Or this:
Soon-to-be Creighton graduate Mullin knows it all too well. Tuition and fees alone at Creighton since 2010 add up to $90,000; the monthly payments on the loans that paid for most of it, Mullin said, will be greater than a mortgage on a starter house in the metro area.
As the intro to the article explains, Mullin has 2 children with 1 pending and a wife with a well-paying job, BUT she wants to stay at home and raise the kids off daddy's future lawyer salary.  As our esteemed journalist puts it:
a law degree is how they have chosen to ascend to the next rung on the socioeconomic ladder.

You see, kids, journalists sort-of live in their own world where this isn't a laughable proposition.  Reality isn't reality, but it's how they think reality is, and David Segal and Co. aside, there are still a ton of journalists in the world who are convinced that law is a lucrative proposition and a "money" choice in life, one that many of them likely think they should've taken to get rich rich rich instead of stupid, poverty-inducing journalism.

So many journalists don't bother adding 1 and 1 or giving an ounce of critical thought to the silky words that effortlessly flow out of deans' mouths.  The fact that Dean A claimed demand was in the rural regions with the retiring solo boomers just waiting to close up and fish and Dean B claimed demand came from regulation (which is anything but rural) does not raise an eyebrow; rather, it's, like, double demand.

Because you know that little psycho-trick called "optimism bias?"  The one that we exploit like mad to haul the veal into the slaughterhouse?  Well, guess what careers have attracted similarly-minded people of this and past generations?

Yup.  Walter Lippmann and Edward R. Murrow and even Bob Woodward are as foreign to modern reality as Atticus Finch.  Insert Chomsky/Orwell quote here.

"Enormous demand?"  Lord, I wouldn't even make that up.  It's a real trick to get someone to voluntarily do your job for you and have them do it better than you could have ever expected.

Scam on!

Sincerely,

Law School Truth Center

P.S. Have you thought about journalism as a career?  Enormous opportunities, and obviously there's no credentialing or standards involved.

P.S.S.  Okay, maybe this is just a "down" year.  But 2014 will be a bumper crop, I can feel it!

17 comments:

  1. No Laughing MatterApril 9, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    Q: Want to know how to tell whether a law dean is lying?

    A: Easy, just see if his/her lips are moving.

    boo-bop-bop-crash.

    I'm here for the rest of the week folks. Be sure and tip your waitresses well...look after them and they'll look after you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Roses, lollipops, and unicorns?

    Most of you cretins are just as bad - you childishly demand that the taxpayers *give* you those things. Especially make-believe things like unicorns.

    Case in point: "When I was in pre-school, my mommy promised me that I would live in a time-traveling FAIRY CASTLE someday! It therefore follows that the taxpayers should be forced to build one for me. Somehow."

    Fairy castle UP, guys!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. STFU Mr. Infinity

      Delete
    2. This is not Infinity (who doesn't actually exist - it's just Painter's name for anyone he doesn't like.)

      These posts are actually a non-drunk Painter himself. Trust me on that.

      Delete
  3. Funny. When I was in lol skool, everybody was headed from the Midwest to Arizona for the copious "opportunities." Now, years later, it's Nebraska. Boom-towns aplenty, y'all.

    Because a s#!t-ton of specialized regulatory transactional work is lying fallow with no one to act on it, in the bustling rural metropolis of...Alliance, Nebraska. (no offense, guys)

    No further offense to Mr. Mullin, but the wifey better keep the day job.

    ReplyDelete
  4. South Dakota looks good:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/09/us/subsidy-seen-as-a-way-to-fill-a-need-for-rural-lawyers.html?pagewanted=all

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, this story talks about an 86 year old lawyer wheezing "why aren't the youngins following my career?" Well, it costs money to relocate to the middle of nowhere, it costs money to start up with no clients, and this guy doesn't look like he made out that well if he is still hobbling about the ND plains trying to hustle as a solo long after most people have died.

      Delete
    2. Fun facts from Wikipedia:

      The North American continental pole of inaccessibility is in Bennett County, located 1650 km (1024 mi) from the nearest coastline, between Allen and Kyle (Shannon County) at 43.36°N 101.97°W.[3]

      This county has a grand total of 3,431 residents, and a median household income of $25,000. The state is basically offering to pay for law school at the University of South Dakota for anyone willing to move there.

      Delete
  5. Put the coffee down. Coffee's for people who avoided law school...

    ReplyDelete
  6. I meant that tdennis was the academic brat.

    are you saying that you are her?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And there we go - Painter once again.

      Time for another poem from Maurice Leiter I think.

      Delete
    2. I'm SAYING you should stop draining your parents dry and move out of their house.

      Delete
    3. Given that I'm 57 years old, I love being called a " brat". Makes me feel young.

      Delete
  7. "Banking, healthcare, and governmental relations?" Well, I do recall one of my fellow graduates applied to be a bank teller when his loans came due and he still didn't have a job. Also, a few of the brighter ones realized quickly how bad of an investment law school was and ended up going back to school for nursing degrees. And a couple of times, I had to straighten out some parking tickets for a friend of mine. So, there you have it I guess. Banking. Healthcare. Governmental relations.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Good post. On the other hand, is there not a realistic basis to believe that the meth crisis will mean a few more jobs in public defense or small firm criminal practice to represent the toothless children of the corn?

    ReplyDelete
  9. I live amongst corn children here in Southern Appalachia. Trust me, they have no more money than teeth. They can't pay. But you can get all the free work you want here. Maybe that's what the scammers mean when talking about underserved areas.

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete