Thursday, June 6, 2013

How we're doing, and how are we doing?

A little breather. A sorbet, if you will, to cleanse the palette; something to remove the nasty taste of daily law school dirt.

From a technical standpoint, this blog has taken off in a big way. Daily reads are increasing, we're well over 160,000 views, and the switch to moderated comments has - I think, at least - made a huge difference to the quality of discussion. In fact, rather than discouraging people from reading, the increase in quality comments has encouraged more readers and lifted the comments out of the gutter. You're probably safe to read this blog at work now.

It's been said before, and it's worth saying again - the comments and the participation are the life of this blog and where the real action takes place.  It's where anyone can join in and air their opinions.  The writers here merely set it up (very well) for you to smash to pieces (even better).

Now is the time to continue to put in the effort. The new crop of 1Ls will be starting school in a few months, and this is the last chance to discourage them from making the dumbest decision of their lives. Participate here, or participate elsewhere, but participate. Whether it's posting a comment or taking it a step further, do something. If you're just reading, then you could do more.

For those of you who don't feel comfortable commenting here for reasons of privacy, I'll quickly go over what we see as admins of the site. When we log in, we see a screen that shows all the unpublished comments - no names, no IP addresses, no identifying information at all if you're posting comments under the Anonymous category. We cannot trace you, we cannot out you, we have no ability to look behind the curtain and see anything other than your words. There is no way for us to see who you are, where you are, or link your opinions to you in any way whatsoever. Not that any of us here have any desire to do that even if we wanted to, but still. This place is absolutely anonymous.

Following on from that, all opinions are welcome. There have been some heated discussions over the past few days from those with all manner of differing opinions, and we typically publish every comment other than the obvious spam. If you have something to say, whether you agree or disagree, then please join in.  That includes those who would consider themselves in opposition to our broad mission here.  Tell us why we're wrong and you're right.  Let's discuss it - these issues will never be resolved if you remain on your side and we remain on ours and we never interact.

Now to flip this around 180 degrees - how do you think we're doing? Are we still on the right track? Are there things we're not covering that we should be? Everyone here is open to comments, criticism, suggestions and direction. Email us at outsidethelawschoolscam at if you need to get in touch with any of us with tips, hot news, or if you want to join as a regular writer.

Remember, this is a community effort. If this blog is not serving you properly, let us know. And likewise, please do your best to add whatever contributions you can, be it spreading the word elsewhere, writing comments, writing posts, or standing outside law schools in September with a placard reading "The End Is Nigh" - anything to get the message into the heads of those who don't yet understand.

Oh, and thanks!


  1. Kidding around is more fun, but here is something interesting:

  2. Seton Hall Law voted America's most rotten TOILET! Valvoline Dean demands recount!!

  3. I enjoyed ILS and now I am viewing your site daily. It's nice to see ILS didn't evaporate and continuing its message will only help uncovering law schools.

  4. I think it might be time to start attacking specific schools, otherwise 0L's will say "at least I'm not in Cooley, I'm in University of X, so I'm OK".
    I went to University of Baltimore School of Law. I graduated in 2006. I owed about $60K in total debt, undergrad and law (not too bad, but I had to live like an animal to do so). I didn't give a shit about rankings, because I knew my gpa and lsat were not nearly good enough for the so-called good schools. Physically, the school was a dump, very bare bones, no ivy, not even a real eatery on campus. The school did (and i suppose still does) have a decent local repuation, probably because there are only two law schools in Maryland. The classes were hit and miss, i didn't learn anything in torts or contracts, but the criminal law and evidence classes were extremely good. The school focused on "practice ready" before that was a buzz term. When i first applied in 2003, the tuition was $10k/year, but by the time i started that year it had gone up to $15k/year, which i found odd. Now the school has a brand new building, but it is ten years too late.

    I wasn't a special snowflake, I never thought I would work in big corporate law, I knew Law&Order was bullshit. My goal was to get a degree, practice criminal law for a few years (I did it for 6 years), and then move to the federal government and coast the rest of my career. At the time this was a realistic proposition, infact many people judged my plan as selling myself short. Now, a federal government job, even non-attorney jobs, are like winning the lottery. Was I scammed? No, I just got left holding the bag on a fucked up system. But when I see the people graduating now from my School, and places like American, Catholic, Widner, Univ of MD, with $180k-220k in debt, i get sick. And then you see people with Undergrad debt with around $80k in debt, and things start seeming really scary. Granted, i saw people living high on hog in law school, taking private loans to buy new cars and vacations. But this is getting beyond ridiculous.

    P.S.- Why is that the higher ranked school you go to, the worse you are at trial work? I really want to know, becuase without doubt. those who went to higher ranked schools were basket cases in a courtroom.

    1. "Why is that the higher ranked school you go to, the worse you are at trial work? I really want to know, becuase without doubt. those who went to higher ranked schools were basket cases in a courtroom."

      Illusion of quality + arrogance - actual experience from a mentor who cares about your development.

    2. This guy is right. We need more on specific schools.

    3. Have you seen this article? Law Deans in Jail

  5. You need to have a post on this article on Balkinization: Law Schools and the University: Who is Supporting Who? "Most universities insist that the law school turn over a significant percentage of tuition revenue. The ABA recommends that universities take no more than 20% of tuition revenue, but that is a recommendation only and as universities have been in financial crisis, many have demanded an increasingly higher percentage of law school tuition revenue."

    In other words your tuition is being used by universities to subsidize other programs. At many law schools its about 30%.

    1. I remember this topic used to be raised on ITLSS sometimes - that MacK dude used to talk about it. The question is, what will universities with marginal law schools do when those law schools become a liability instead of a cash cow due to declining enrollment?

  6. "Was I scammed? No, I just got left holding the bag on a f-ed up system."

    This is so very true.

    Yes, there are some people --especially recently-- who have indeed been scammed. There are even more people who --over the past 10-15 years-- got left holding the bag. It's not so much of a blame game at this point, as a need to send a warning to others who are coming down the road... "Hey, don't come down this road... the Bridge is out and there's no turning around or backing up!!"

    I believe the movement should use the word "scam" and call things as they are. Some of the people who were scammed may be angry and use intemperate language.

    The blog should also be aware that some other people may not have been 'scammed' in the literal sense, but that they too are now entrapped in a large mess that was not of their making and is totally beyond their (or anyone's) ability to fix.

    But be it a scam or a collapsing Ponzi scheme (or both), this blog is helping speared the word.

    "I got screwed" needs to co-exist with "Hey, don't come down this career path... the Bridge is out and there's no backing up!!"

  7. Now that nearly all the sordid details about laws schools have come out, it might be interesting to talk about how, theoretically, law school enrollments could be slashed, through some sort of collective action.
    I say "theoretically" because I'm a realist and I know the law schools are like cockroaches and cornered rats and will never willingly give up. The T14 will carry on as usual, the T40 and above will cut enrollments (say 10-20%) only enough to protect their LSAT scores, and the rest will admit anybody with a pulse and a wallet (i.e. loan money). Nobody will take any positive action unless they are absolutely forced to do so.

    Let's take the example of California. What will happen to the many unaccredited schools? Will they die on their own? Should the Calbar get rid of them by requiring ABA approval or getting rid of the Baby Bar? Should the UC administration get rid of Hastings or Davis, or effectively consolidate the system by forcing all or some publics to cut enrollment and then redistributing faculty? Buy out useless mouths (i.e. law profs)? What about really crappy privates like USF and McGeorge? Could USF and Pacific simply shut them down and use the facilities for something else? Could all the mediocre Catholic law schools come to some mutual agreement? What to do about that independent sludge factory called Southwestern that churns out 500 a year? Can anybody influence them to turn off the tap? What about the even worse Tom Jefferson LS in San Diego?

    Is there any scenario where the ABA could withdraw accreditation because a school is completely pointless?

  8. Thanks for doing such a great job! With law schools cleansing the net, such as law schools' wikipedia pages as we saw a few days ago, we need blogs like this one.

  9. Article leads to distortion of inference. "loans subsidize obamacare." Well... by inference, if you don't like Obamacare, you shouldn't take out loans (that's a deep end nexus). But you get the point. Gov't backed loans are making bankers rich. how about that one?

  10. I never went to law school myself, or aspired to. Undergraduate was enough for me. But its interesting reading about the law school scam - and it has most of the hallmarks of a scam. This is the leading edge of the death of the American dream of universal college education and constant upward mobility. I mean, after all, there's only a limited percentage of the population who can work in prestigious work collar jobs.

    1. Europe for centuries had hereditary titles... they kinda do today, but most Europeans are over it, in at least as much as Counts and Barons do not actually run the show.

      America has the college degree.... it's going the same way. You spent a lot of money on a title. Enjoy lording it over the non-degree person.

      Welcome to your future.

    2. Except the number of people with hereditary titles was always small, so the titles (mostly) meant something. Just like how a bachelor's degree used to mean something when well under than 10% of the population had one.

      Imagine if some enterprising medieval businessman started selling those titles to any peasant who was willing to sign on for a few more years indentured servitude. Soon those titles would be worthless. Just like a lot of degrees are now when something like over 30% of the population under 50 has at least a bachelors degree.

      A law degree used to be amongst the most prestigious. Not sure why, but the law schools are busy destroying that prestige like a bunch of trawlers chasing after the last school of fish.

    3. A perfect post.

      Keep up the good work.

  11. fuck those matriculating 1L special snowflakes. they were warned

  12. Let's pick one notorious law school, and then do an Informational Picket on opening day, Fall 2013.

    The tone should be not so much that the incoming students are doomed (which they SO are), but also that the law school's continuing vomiting forth of law-credentialed students into a profession that is so far beyond overcrowded that it isn't even fucking funny, is an assault on the administration of justice.

    These people will not have any legitimate jobs and few chances for paying experience, and many will be forced to go solo or join fly-by-night practices and attempt to push scam-like cases on very thin, or NO facts.

    China had a one-child policy... law schools should have a similar policy.

    In a sense, it's up to lawyers, who are officers of the court, to apply contraception to save the profession.

  13. Why just one law school? Why not all 14 law schools that were sued?