Sunday, June 9, 2013

Con Law: Get the Message Out!

I have been educated in the last week about the more volatile publishing industry now that ebooks dominate the market.  To make a book survive the white noise of self-published crap, the book must sell and must receive reviews.  With ebooks, marketing is now more akin to viral campaigning...

I know that the book has sold because many readers commented on this forum.  I would like to ask on behalf of myself and the authors that the many readers express their opinion on an Amazon review as soon as possible.  No one needs to write anything fancy, just make your enthusiasm for the book known in a short review.  Right now, the reviews are limited to The Adjunct Prof and myself.

It will help another book exposing the scam to survive!

(UPDATE from OTLSS - I second Adam's request. We get about 2,500 hits here per day. Assuming (conservatively) that only 20% are readers, and that only 20% of those readers have Amazon accounts, that's 100 potential reviews on Amazon for this book. We rarely ask for you guys to do much except sit back and read and comment once in a while, but this would be a great way to spread some influence beyond this blog. Apathy doesn't work anymore and if we're going to make changes, we need to expand and venture out from here once in a while. Recently, you were all asking for easy pieces of activism that required no effort whatsoever - well, here's one. Adam has handed you a task on a plate. I for one would like to see how well our readers are able to respond to a challenge like this. I hope I'm not disappointed, because when outsiders look in and see a group of people who aren't willing to step out from behind the comments section of the blog, it makes us all look toothless, insignificant and kinda pathetic. And while you're over at Amazon, if you've bought some other pre-law guides in the past and found them to be lacking, why not review those too and give them the two or three stars that they truly deserve instead of their current five star ratings?)


  1. Agreed.

    We have what, like three or four titles in the entire law school catalog that back our mission.

    There are 171 (on my quick search) books under "law school guides", with revolting titles on the first page such as:

    *** How to Get Into Top Law Schools (5th edition), yes, 5th edition!!!! That is what people are buying.

    *** Law School 101: How to Succeed in Your First Year of Law School and Beyond

    *** The Ivey Guide to Law School Admissions: Straight Advice on Essays, Resumes, Interviews, and More

    *** The Complete Law School Companion: How to Excel at America's Most Demanding Post-Graduate Curriculum

    *** The Eight Secrets Of Top Exam Performance In Law School

    *** The Law School Rules: 115 Survival Strategies to Make the Challenges of Law School Seem Like "Small Stuff"

    *** Law School Ninja (wtf?)

    People buy this shit. It dominates the debate. I'm not trying to be a shill or anything, but like Adam points out we do have an opportunity here to get something of our own up there with those disgusting titles.

    So I'll back Adam 100%. If you have an Amazon account, go and give this book five stars and write a little sentence or two about how law school is a scam and how people need to read this thing before they start buying any other law school guides.

    Half the battle is getting the first word in. If we have people coming to this blog only after they've read the pro law materials, then they are screwed already and we're on the back foot. We need to get the word out and make people see the scam first and the law school publicity second.

    1. Correct me if I am wrong, but you don't even need to have bought the book to review it as far as I understand.

      So for anyone with an Amazon account, this should be something easy to do.

      We have all bought books on Amazon before. You don't need to buy this one to make an impact and give it a good review. This is something you can do for free that might make a difference.

    2. The titles of Law Skool guides makes me sick, too:

      Law School Ninja. How about "Grad-School-Age Mutant Ninja Turtles: How to Self-Sodomize in America's Most Notorious Post-Graduate Cirriculum"

      Like other scams, there's a host of cottage industries that spring up around it.

      Here's the skinny: Law Skool has been a great, great deal....

      for (1) the administrators, (2) the profs, (3)the cottage industries that feed off it such as Test Prep, Professional Coaching, Bar Review, and Writers of Drivel about How to Get into LS.

      But not for people who wanted to become lawyers.

    3. Also: "How to Excel at America's Most Demanding Post-Graduate Curriculum." LOL & WTF???

    4. First, to Adam and to all, thank you. (Anon 7:20: correct, one need not buy the book to post a review. Moreover, I will personally buy anyone a copy who wishes to review it. If you have already bought a copy, I will send you a copy of another book.)

      The book is Con Law: Avoiding...or Beating...the Scam of the Century. The links are below.

      We love reviews, and deeply appreciate them. There is a further and in many ways more important task: actively putting the topic, and the book, in front of any and every student group you're a part of.

      There is a need to get this message out to the wider community. As students we are steeped in the beliefs of education, teachers, the ever-wise goodness of professors and higher degrees, etc. We *want* to believe. Others will find it difficult to understand, much less accept, much of what we now know to be true.

      The risk: If the general public rejects this message (or fails to hear it), another attempt will fail. It won't matter that this is footnote-less, nor that we screech to the heavens.

      Without momentum, however, even this will not be enough. The time to build this momentum is now.

      The request is this: If you have posted a note here, please copy and post that as reviews on Amazon and Barnes & Noble online. If you have not posted a note, please write a short review in both.

      A further note: The scam elements of legal education are clear ( . . . else we wouldn't have written the book). The key for a general audience, however, is to bring them along so that they too will understand. Given that most students who have not yet gone to law school are, understandably, fully "bought into" the system, there is a serious concern that they be approached with caution. This is not a sell out, or evidence of timidity (or duplicity), but rather a recognition that "deprogramming" is a real psychological hurdle. In many ways, this is the headwind we face and will continue to face.

      Our approach is to accept and use this reality to ultimately force a change, which will come only when a substantial number of prospective law students decide not to apply. (Even then, there will be great resistance, and an effort to expand further the mechanisms that have come to be the scam of the Legal-Education Industrial Complex. This is simply inherent in the nature of organizations, including both the ABA and law schools.)

      So, please do keep that in mind. If you would, please edit or draft your reviews with your most earnest and fiercely believing niece or nephew in mind. How would you reach *them*?

      Point #42.5: Five stars are of course helpful. Fewer if that's where your opinion lies. The text itself is either very helpful or nearly irrelevant (or harmful, regardless of stars), depending upon whether a reader would take from that the applicability to them. So, if you are concerned of your anonymity, you might post something along the lines of "While I might not agree with everything written in this book, I do agree that these are important questions a future law student must ask, and they won't get this information anywhere else." Or some such. A careful hedging can actually be a positive, keeping that earnest and fiercely believing niece or nephew in mind.

      Here are the links:

      Thank you,

      Thane Messinger

      ¡Viva la Resistance!

    5. All: Sorry, had to pull this to a new window:

      The second (and in many ways more important) request is this: Please share this with whatever personal groups you think might benefit, or be able to spread the word. Word-of-keyboard is an essential weapon, and one of the few we control. There are many, many who have been harmed by law schools as they are currently run. Our challenge is to bridge the gap to prevent harm to an even larger group—the many who will continue to enroll—and who will continue to doubt that what we say is even possible.

      A third request, which might be the most important: let your voice be heard in the numerous online discussion forums (fora?), *especially* those that drink the Kool Aid. We, as authors, can't really do this, but you can. (My one foray into Top Law Schools was, shall we say, less than well received.) Do not be deterred by flames, but rather laugh. There are twerps aplenty everywhere we turn, and they tend to be the ones drowning out their wiser compatriots. If enough contrary voices are heard, the message will begin to get through.

      Here are the links:

      Thank you,

      Thane Messinger

      ¡Viva la Resistance!

    6. I am beginning to like the Thaneinator. I wonder how long it will be before the authors of other law school guide books decide to stop being part of the scam and start actually guiding applicants?

    7. Anon 4:38 -


      That's now 13 1/2 in favor (relatives included); 6,251,093,928 against (figures for those who don't actually know the Thanator . . . literally, "bringer of death" . . . are interpolated).

      = : )

  2. I have read Charles Cooper's blog for a long times. He always seemed like a "blame the student, pull yourself up by your bootstraps" type asshole. Have his views changed or is he just trying to jump on the side of the winning team when the end is near, while making a few bucks on the side? Dunno.

    1. The end is not near.

      Have any schools closed? No. Have any professors been fired? No. Have any professors even taken a pay cut? No. Have college grads stopped applying to law schools? No.

      So they are still winning.

      And the flip side is that we are still losing. So rather than attacking people who are clearly on our side, why not do something to help? I think writing a fucking *book* about the subject kind of gives him a bit of authenticity, especially when it's the hardest attack against law schools in print that I've ever read.

      Or are you Leiter, trying to stir up internal conflicts through some sock puppet?

      The book is priced at $2.99 as well, so it's hardly going to make anyone rich. We went over those arguments with Campos's book when that was released for twice the price.

      I imagine his views have changed. And that is the only battle we can claim to have won so far - changing a few minds. And I'd rather have him on our side than on the side of law schools.

      Now fuck off Leiter.

    2. There are (at least) two issues with regard to non-traditional students:

      First applies to all, which is that *once one has decided to attend law school,* the tasks and thoughts are very different than they are here. We can say, with some degree of certainty, that most law students are better served by not attending at all. But, for those who have *already decided* to attend, which includes nearly anyone on a discussion group, the conversation is a very different one. As with the Jacobins, the risk here is that of eating one's own. Very messy, and ultimately destructive to all.

      My personal take is this: If one cannot get into an elite school, the presumption is that one should not go. We can debate "elite," or "presumption," or even the nitty-gritty of costs, scholarships (another near-scam in itself), and so on. But the overarching message holds, and until that message is heard by a wider audience, the point is not only moot, we harm ourselves with too-inflexible an approach. This is what kills many movements . . . or makes them dangerous, if they do win.

      Second as it relates to non-traditionals is that they are, well, non-traditional. Outside the system, to be sure, but the calculus that applies to a 21-year-old is not the same as that applied to a 41-year-old. The general principle above still holds, but the conversation is, again, a bit different. (And I agree with the underlying point.)


  3. I'm looking deep into my crystal ball and I see the future.........

    .........nobody here will go to Amazon and post reviews.

    Just sayin. We're lazy fuckers when all is said and done. And Leiter will be sitting at home laughing at how he was right and we "failed" because we're too lazy to do even the smallest thing, and that it's not law school that is the problem but the fact that we're too lazy to succeed.

    We need to stop trying to set up activism projects because they universally receive zero support from the readers of this site, all of whom seem to be moochers or too timid to dare to do anything. What failed project are we up to now? Is this six or seven?

  4. OK, I'm not trying to be a butthead or anything, but what's the name of the book. You didn't write the name. You tell us to write a review for a book whose name you don't even post.

    Don't assume that we read it in another post. We may not have time to read every post and come here for an update. So I'm wondering, what the hell is the name of the book that you wanted us to post a review for and why the hell did I have to post a comment requesting that the book be named?


    2. The book title was mentioned.

      And the other posts were like two days ago.

      Like 9:09 AM mentioned, we (you?) really are a bunch of lazy fuckers. Do you want Adam to hold your hand and tell you what Amazon is too? Do you want him to write your review?

      Get off your ass and do something instead of complaining here. Fuck dude, in the time it took to write your comment, you could have found the fucking name of the book ten times over! I'm starting to think that there is a real good reason why some people just fail in life.

  5. If you want to get word out about this book, it needs to be a printed book and not a Kindle book.

    Here's why.

    Print books show up well before Kindle books in Amazon searches for me. Con Law does not even show up on the radar because all the books about "con law" that are actual print books are showing up before it.

    Even if it is a token printing that helps people buy the Kindle version, a print book should be made from this. Just a thought.

    1. Anon 2:11:

      I cannot disagree, and have been part of teams producing quite a number of printed books.

      The reasons are: (1) it could not be offered this cheaply; (2) it could not be offered this quickly; (3) brick-and-mortar stores and distributors are exceedingly reluctant to carry new titles; and (4) it takes years to wait for stocks to deplete to make revisions. We are likely seeing the death, faster than we might know, of entire genres.

      I love printed books, but the truth is that the retail network is highly resistant, and growing moreso almost by the month. Planet Law School, the radical book of its day, owned the shelves. (In particular, Borders was a major outlet.) Now which book is it? Law School Confidential and a single-handful of others.

      My own book, Law School: Getting In, Getting Good, Getting the Gold, has been pretty much left out in the cold. ( )

      I've heard just about every story there is as to why they won't stock it, but the truth, I think, is that both PLS and GGG ask students who are going to go to law school to actually work. (But in ways different than students assume "study" is all about.)

      I leave it to y'all to comment on the effects in terms of how misled students have been.

      So, while I don't disagree, I'm not sure there's an easy solution as to bringing out a printed version. I can say, that, if warranted, we'll do so in a second.


  6. As predicted, no reviews. LOL at feeble commenters who can't even be bothered to do that.

    Another own goal scored by this site.

    1. Anon 2:14 -

      There are now five reviews. A *thank you* to all, and a huge difference this makes. (More are still better. Viewers are far more likely to trust a mass of reviews.)

      . . . And now to the real work: getting the word out, by pointing anyone and everyone you know (perhaps with a brief discussion) to:

      Con Law: Avoiding...or Beating...the Scam of the Century (The Real Student's Guide to Law School and the Legal Profession), by Cooper & Messinger.

      Again, thank you,


  7. @11:40am

    If Adam is requesting I post a review, then I suggest he give me the name of the book he would like me to review. That's not rocket science, dude. If you are asking me to do something, don't expect me to get off my lazy ass and do the research to find the crap you want me to review when you are the one asking me to do it.

    Seriously, if you can't figure that one out, then I would agree w/ you that there are reasons why some people fail in life, although they are not the ones you were probably thinking about, but should be. The book title was not mentioned in the current post and no, I am not going to spend my time looking through your past posts for a book that you want ME to review.

    If you think that you are going to get people supporting your movement by telling them they have to get off their asses and look through your posts to do what YOU want, then you, yourselves, are marginalizing your own movement. I could care less. I am doing quite well by current standards. But if you all want people to care more about YOUR issues, you might want to think about making them a little more universally appealing and accessible...

    Just a thought.

    1. Hey Rocket Brainiac, the title *was* mentioned. Do you still not see the words "Con Law" in the title to the post?

      If you need everything spelled out for you, here goes: Get your lazy ass to Amazon and type "con law" into the search box and it's the first fucking item!

      Five seconds of work.

      You are nothing but a lazy sponger. You want everyone else to do the work for you. Seriously, you wrote this: "If you are asking me to do something, don't expect me to get off my lazy ass and do the research to find the crap you want me to review when you are the one asking me to do it."

      Busting this scam is a group effort. Adam is NOT going to do it for you. He's up there working his ass off every day running this blog for your benefit and the benefit of thousands of others out there, and you dare to sit there and criticize him for not spelling out every single step you need to take?

      Let me spell it out. Get your fat fucking ass out of that chair and help us out. Or fuck off.

      But you're "doing quite well" by your standards, so I guess you've got yours, Baby Boomer. If your bank account is doing well, then fuck everyone else. You sound like a selfish piece of shit to be honest. And there's a few who hang around here - Leiter, Koch, and Tannebaum.

      If you follow this blog so casually that you can't even remember a post from two days ago, then I'm not sure we really need your "help". In fact, it sounds like you're here to stroke your own ego at how "well" you're doing in life.

      Fuck off back to your bag of Cheetos and your Xbox, fatty. We don't need you or your shitty attitude.

      Jeezus Christ, I'm getting so tired of everyone in the comments section complaining at how bad life is for them because of law school, but almost vomiting in anger at the thought of having to lift a finger to help themselves out.

      This book came at a time when we really needed something. We have had no media coverage recently. We are being eclipsed by the wider student debt issues, and nobody gives a fuck about lawyers anyway. We need this book to succeed. We need media coverage. We need publicity and support and fresh faces. And we need to lose the hangers-on who are happy to let everyone else do the work on their behalf.

      Just a thought.

  8. Add one more review. Good luck guys.

    -OTLSS Anon 1

    1. Anon 1 -

      A heartfelt mahalo, merci, and thank you.

      To all, if you're reading all this and are *still* contemplating law school (or have been accepted to a top school) or, egads, are *in* law school, an offer: send me a note, to, with your rough particulars and I will send you a book that I think might help. Chances are it will be GGG, but there are a few others that migh tbe good. Reviews are appreciated but, of course, not required.


  9. @3:21

    2:22pm here. I'll tell you what: you and your five people manage your own little scam bust, without the support of anyone. I'm sure you'll accomplish a lot, pissing off people that could unite with you.

    Whatever you accomplish won't help me, because I'm not the one without a job. But hey, you don't need any help, do you?

    You say "we have had no media coverage recently." You think that maybe it's because you bitch and complain at anyone who gives you a tip that yes, if you want to give attention to a book that highlights your cause, you should post the ENTIRE name of the book? That's basic Media 101, dude, and the fact that you and others running this blog aren't really aware of that may explain why you aren't getting media coverage. As for needing the publicity, support, and fresh faces, you sure don't act like it.

    Yes, I follow this blog casually. This is the first time I have checked it out in a few weeks. I actually have a job to go to that takes up my time, but I still would have been happy to support this reform, because I think the profession needs it and what the law schools do is wrong, regardless of whether I have a job or not. I could have been a new supporter - one of the fresh faces you were angling for. But since you're so pissed off and angry by my noting that it would have been intelligent to note the entire name of the book to be endorsed, I'll spend my time supporting other causes w/ people who know enough not to piss off potential supporters.

    You note that you have no media coverage and that the movement is being eclipsed by wider student debt issues. You continue by saying that you need the book to succeed, yet your actions are contrary to that: you can't even be bothered to note the full title of a book in the current post and expect potential advocates to scourge your pages trying to find it - a book that by your own admission, is important to the success of the movement.

    You indicate that you need media coverage, publicity, support, and fresh faces. LOL! W/ such an attitude as you have currently displayed (how mature: "Fuck off back to your bag of Cheetos and your Xbox, fatty." - sounds like that was written by a name-calling 2 year old!), you will only serve to alienate people and you certainly will not engender yourselves or your movement to anyone. How sad that this movement is represented by individuals such as yourself. You really have no idea how much damage you do to it. Unfortunately, it will serve to confirm many negative stereotypes and turn many people off to the true issues.

    1. Again, you have now spent so much time fussing around in the comments section that you could have written five reviews by now.

      But you never wanted to do that. You wanted to bust on this site for some non-existent reason (well, other than your sheer laziness.)

      Yes, it's embarrassing for you that you couldn't figure out the name of a book entitled "Con Law" from a post entitled "Con Law". And I know how that feels. You are ashamed, embarrassed, and you want to fight back to "prove" how you were not the idiot, and that everyone else who managed to figure it out are somehow the dummies who didn't get it.

      If you're happy to support the reform, the support it and ignore an anonymous commenter like me. Write your review. Do what needs to be done to be a supporter.

      Or fuck off.

      The choice is yours. If your next move is to respond to this instead of supporting the movement in the manner than Adam suggested, then you're clearly not interested in supporting the movement.

      Come back and debate/argue when you've posted your review. Then we can see where your loyalties really lie. Point me to your five star review on Amazon and I'll gladly admit that I was wrong and that you're serious about helping. If not, then thanks for playing and goodbye.

      Spend the five minutes writing your review instead of thinking of your cutting retort to me.

    2. I've already written a review asshole. It was written before I even read your latest comment. But thanks for making me regret supporting any part of this movement. The scammers are right. You are just a bunch of entitled assholes who expect jobs handed to you.

      Thanks for changing my mind about this. As for my having to prove my loyalty to your little movement by proving to you that I gave the book a five-star review, I'll write whatever review I want and give it any rating I wish based on what I feel it deserves. How incredibly entitled of you to demand that I must rate the book a certain way in order to prove my 'loyalty' to your group. How entitled of you to tell me how I should be spending my five minutes and that I should be spending them supporting your movement when you haven't earned my or anyone's support.

      You all deserve everything you get. You don't deserve jobs. You sure as hell don't deserve my support or anyone else's. You are right I am embarrased. I am embarrased that for two years, I actually felt bad for you guys and felt you were victimized and not told the truth.

      As a someone with a legal job, I now realize why you don't have one. It isn't the law schools. It's your attitudes and the entitlement you seem to feel and the belief that you have that everyone owes you something.

      You're an excellent representative of your movement, because you allow everyone to see the true entitlement fueling your complaints. Thanks for opening my eyes.

    3. To Anonymous at 8:15PM - it's me, the one who called you out.

      And I was wrong. I assume you posted the 4* review?

      I appear to be the asshole, and I apologize.

  10. Honestly, I think this group would make a better impact by commenting on pro and anti law school news stories and contacting the authors of these articles and providing them with informational links.

    Avoid fighting with the lawprofs at their watering holes. You're not going to change their opinions because their livelihoods depends on it. Also, ironically, for a group that loves to preach "academic freedom", they love to moderate comments.

  11. It's funny (ironic, I should say) to see scamblog commenters call non-reviewing commenters lazy losers and tell them that their laziness is probably why they are failures. "Get off your arse and post a comment. It's people like you who sit and eat Cheet-O's and do nothing that are to blame for why they can't accomplish their goals."

    Gotta love it! Just sayin'.

    1. Jeffster, I'm not sure you got my point.

      My point was that the anonymous reviewer posted something saying that he couldn't be bothered to look back and see what the name of the book was (or, implicitly, even be bothered to search Google or Amazon for it, a task that takes literally seconds to accomplish.) Ignoring, of course, the fact that the title of the book was the title of the post. But he managed to spend minutes here with a rather aggressive post to complain about how we can't expect him to be bothered to look for a book title.

      But going back, perhaps he had a point - it was not obvious, but to anyone who had been actually following this blog, it was kind of obvious.

      I stand 100% behind my point though, that the scamblogs (especially this one) have shown time and time again that while people are prepared to write comments here, they are not prepared to step outside the boundaries of the blog and bother doing even the smallest pieces of activism. And that laziness, yes laziness, could be extrapolated to larger life conclusions. I mean, if those who are victims of the scam can't even be bothered to write an anonymous review of a book - like two sentences saying how important the message is - then how can anyone outside the scam look at us and believe that we're actually not all lazy fuckers who can't even help ourselves?

  12. To the mods:

    Guys, you've got to keep your threads from being taken over by jerks who think other commenters' demanding attitude is some kind of crime against humanity. You're just standing around as sickos undermine your best efforts.