Monday, June 24, 2013

Indiana Tech's Dean Says It's Not About The Number of Jobs, It's About The Quality of the Graduates

Even with the overwhelming evidence that the legal job market is impossibly saturated, new law schools are opening. And why not? Law school administrators operate on the same principle as Subway franchisees: Our law school is a special snowflake that will learn from all the mistakes that have been made so far. It doesn’t matter that there are four other law schools in this state. So it goes with Indiana Tech’s new law school, which has come under fire for opening when there are so many other law schools in the populous state of Indiana. Wait, what? You say that Indiana is the sixteenth most populated state in the U.S.? No matter.

Indiana Tech’s administration has been furiously defending this blatant cash grab short-sighted decision. New dean Peter Alexander is “tired of explaining it”. Mr. Alexander is “adamant: It’s not about the number of job openings versus the number of law school graduates. It’s about the quality of the law school graduate.” So, the top tier traps like NYU and George Washington have been unable to come up with Peter Alexander’s secret formula to guarantee employment outcomes. First, Mr. Alexander is placing a “heavy focus on practical experience.” How does Indiana Tech propose to implement this “heavy focus on practical experience”? “During the third year of law school at Indiana Tech, the students can work up to 40 hours a week for credit in nonprofit or governmental law, what Alexander calls a “semester in practice.” That’s right: Students will pay Indiana Tech for the privilege of working full time during their third year. With all the blowback slimy attorneys experience when they advertise “observation time” for pay, it’s a surprise that scambloggers haven’t called Alexander out on this suspect plan. 

As usual, higher ed is coming up with ever more creative ways to part naive students from their money. We need to have a truly independent board overseeing law schools. Shutter the ones with bad employment outcomes and prevent useless schools like Indiana Tech from setting up shop. But it looks like this generation’s future needs to be destroyed before society gets the message.

45 comments:

  1. "It's about the quality of the graduates."

    Translation: We want kids who've never had a real job to borrow $100K or more and give it to us because we have a "good feeling" that it will pay off even though grads from much better schools are seriously struggling.

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  2. Back in October 2012, Dean Alexander wrote:

    "In addition to the curricular innovations, we will give students the option to specialize their education by concentrating their upper-level electives in a particular area. Concentrations are much like undergraduate “majors” and, at Indiana Tech, students will be able to receive a notation on their transcripts that they concentrated their studies in one of four areas if they choose: Advocacy/Dispute Resolution, Intellectual Property/Technology Law, Transactional Law, and Global Law and Leadership. In order to complete the requirements to receive a concentration, students must not only enroll in a certain number of hours of coursework, they must also actually practice law either in a law school clinic or in a full-time, 40-hours-per-week “semester-in-practice” internship with a member of the profession whose expertise is in that same area."

    See,
    http://insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.com/search?q=indiana+tech

    I don't see Dean Alexander touting these internships in the latest article so hopefully someone has given the him some legal advice about the illegality of unpaid internships in the private sector.

    It seems that instead of these internships, now

    “During the third year of law school at Indiana Tech, the students can work up to 40 hours a week for credit in nonprofit or governmental law, what Alexander calls a “semester in practice."


    In order to actually work as a lawyer (as opposed to doing "photocopying projects") a law student must be supervised by a practicing attorney. How many non-profits in Fort Wayne are going to be staffed with an attorney who would be willing to supervise a law student? For internships with the government, as Fort Wayne isn't the capital of Indiana, there will be few state-level opportunities. In short, just like most law schools, students will receive their practical training in one of the law clinics. And while clinics provide good experience, you certainly aren't ready to hang out a shingle after completion

    Unfortunately, some 0Ls will be seduced by terms like "practice ready" and by the availability of the Global Law and Leadership concentration which certainly will have hiring partners salivating in Indianapolis.

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    1. Good point. Alexander must have carefully crafted these statements to appeal to naïve students. In truth, practicing lawyers would be mostly unwilling or unable to have students working alongside them. And it is technically illegal for unpaid interns to do any work which contributes to a firms bottom line, even if they are receiving college credits in return.

      Meanwhile government and nonprofits are having to turn away experienced lawyers for volunteer positions, so many are eager to keep their resumes current. Unqualified 3Ls would struggle to get a place.

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    2. But aren't Jones Day and Weil Gotshal both laying off their lawyers because they simply aren't sufficiently experienced? If these firms could just find some good, internship-seasoned twenty-somethings, the picture would look a lot brighter. They'll be practice-ready, unlike the lawyers who've been in the firms for several years.

      I guess Clinton showed us that American lawyers just love to unload on interns.

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  3. Well, why not? It isn't the law school's job to create a demand for attorneys. That sounds more like an ABA job to me. Should they refuse to accept the students' money?

    Truly shocking that a law school would be pursuing money. The nerve of them! Tell me, MA, do YOU work for free? Do you work at all, for that matter?

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    1. I am advocating for the version of an independent body with a comment protection focus to police law schools and higher ed institutions in general. The ABA is basically a lobbying group for law schools.

      And why do you assume I don't work? I have a very rewarding job outside the legal sector. This is a labor of love for me. I want to save future generations from making the same mistakes I did.

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    2. @6:54-

      Hi, Mr. Infinity! Keep napalming that army of strawmen.

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    3. ^ Where are you hiding all the money you earned from painting houses all these years, 1049?

      Shouldn't you use some of that money to repay your student loans?

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  4. This TTT should be shut down immediately. I don't know what pisses me off more--the fact that gullible young people will have their lives ruined (or at least damaged) by this carnival barker, or the fact that my tax dollars are paying for it.

    I did LOL about the focus on "practical experience," e.g. paying the school so that you can work (volunteer?) full time at a govt. or nonprofit agency. Aside from the fact that there are too few legal jobs in general, there is a particular shortage of them in govt. and non profits, due to budget cuts and the JD glut. So the only "practical experience" these students will get is related to jobs that for the most part do not exist.

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    1. More to your point, most clinic work is done for people who cannot afford a lawyer. Thus the only practical experience you gain is in handling the kinds of cases that paying clients will rarely bring to you, and that will be marginally profitable when they do.

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    2. That's very true. These students may get experience with foreclosure defense, ssi disability claims, food stamp claims, debt collection practices etc but by definition such clients dont have money to pay for a lawyer.

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    3. Actually, I've seen lawyers get rich on SSI claims. The only ones who will turn up in a clinic are the ones the paid practitioners rejected for having hopelessly fraudulent cases. And from what I have seen of the SSI bar, if they think your case is hopelessly fraudulent then . . .

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    4. FYI - SSI pays WELL...and if you do enough of it...REALLY WELL. Also, @ Bam Bam, Tech is a small PRIVATE SCHOOL - not State run...so how exactly are your "tax dollars" paying for it?

      Bye the way...I don't work for Tech in any way, nor does anyone in my family. I wrote the comment because I can't stand it when BS is passed down the line by people who spout off with absolutely no clue what they are talking about.

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    5. I think BamBam was referring to the fact that failed law grads -> defaulted student loans -> taxpayer picks up the tab. That angle is independent of whether or not the school is public or private.

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    6. Thanks duped, that was indeed what I was referring to.

      10:23 AM you might want to gather some basic knowledge about how law school student loans work, and how many graduates are in default, before trying to contribute to the discussion.

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  5. I remember the "feasibility study" that was published in 2011:

    http://www.indianatech.edu/Academics/Documents/Law-School-Feasibility.pdf

    Absolutely laughable. I'm sure some consultant was paid $5k to come up with this drivel, so that they had something to point to when they started fundrasing.

    You can tell that a whole 5 minutes of thought went into this thing. They might as well have said "Hey, investors, get in on the law school scam! Indiana does not really need a fifth law school, but who cares when there is money to be made off the backs of 22-year-olds! Buy shares now!"

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    1. The worst part is that this absolutely pointless school will almost surely fill its seats. Bright-eyed kids will take out huge loans backed by the gov't in the name of "access to education", law professors will get rich, and lives will be ruined.

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  6. Wouldn't you think most students before enrolling in law school today would google "is law school worth it" before enrolling? And if they enroll anyway and take on debt to do so, is it not their fault?

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  7. The problem is anyone who gets into this awful law school, and the numerous others just like it, can get unlimited federal loans. How does that work? The law schools say we need so and so dollars per student, and the government just rubberstamps each and every loan application without any sort of actuarial check?

    I get the impression that the students don't have to do any paperwork themselves to get the loans. Its all prepared by the law schools and the students just sign on the dotted line. Its no wonder so many lemmings have no idea the sort of debt they are taking on. Its a scam alright.

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    1. Back when I started law school in 2001, I got a packet detailing all my loan details. I quickly scanned it, not paying much attention to how much I was borrowing. My idea was that I'd get a high paying attorney gig and that the loan payments would be a pittance each month in the grand scheme of things.

      How wrong I was.

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    2. Yes MA reminds me of con artists who will drive their marks to the bank and then fill out the withdrawal forms or loan application so they get the money out of them. They will be so nice and helpful. Don't you worry yourself about that nasty paperwork, we do this all the time, normal business practice. Just sign the form and I'll take it up to the cashier and everything will be alright.

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  8. Indiana Tech Dean should send students to angelhack for three years (www.angelhack.com). See how many "quality graduates" get jobs after the third year... (get a hint of the future)

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  9. How can a brand new TTTTT produce high quality graduates when it is picking from the bottle of the barrel, when it comes to applicants?! It's not as if law schools adequately prepare students how to practice law.

    Unless something has changed in the last few minutes, law firms and government agencies still prefer to hire students and graduates from higher-ranked schools. Indiana Tech is obviously looking for suckers.

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  10. One thing that has gone unmentioned. Indiana Tech is not even accredited and the school’s website states that it makes “no representation” as to whether the school will receive ABA accreditation when its students graduate. Think of how stupid you would have to be enroll at this toxic waste dump. We’re talking about a whole new species of lemming. No one with an IQ above room temperature would come within 10 miles of the place.

    And with these raw materials as an entering class, Indiana Tech is going to produce graduates who are so gifted that they will be immune to a legal depression that is being felt at top 10 schools? Can Dean Alexander also turn dogshit into diamonds? At some point, the lies become so brazen that you almost have to laugh.

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    1. When this clown can say it's not the numbers it's the quality and anyone is dumb enough to not see the idiocy in that statement (more jobs will appear when IT churns out these better graduates?)then I think I have reached the point when I just have to say that anyone who enrolls there deserves whatever happens to them.

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    2. I would laugh, except thousands of 22-year olds' lives will be screwed up by this and ultimately, as the taxpayer, I'm responsible for paying for their screw up. No, there's nothing to laugh about that.

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    3. @ Anon 10am - I agree, the odds of graduating with a good paying job and little debt are next to nil at best...however, isn't it on the grad?

      Also, NO LAW SCHOOL, I DON'T CARE WHO IT IS, OR WHERE IT IS - ATTAINS ACCREDITATION THEIR FIRST YEAR IN EXISTENCE. Accreditation is a laughable gesture anyway. People with influential positions are key and following their (insert "accrediting authority") accreditation checklist coupled with a little dough will most definitely get an institution accredited. I know, I worked at a popular large public university in my state and the accreditation thing was almost comical. It's all about the money, period. If they should lose accreditation, they lose GOBS AND GOBS of MONEY. Academic people are funny anyway, get them in a room together and everything becomes decision by committee. Very few agree on much of anything because each deems they have more intellect than the next individual. These people have the hardest time making a decision. It is truly incredible ANYTHING gets done at the collegiate/university level...but of course that is why they hired me as a full-time consultant (they couldn't get it done from the inside on their own)...UNREAL.

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  11. I feel like calling up the admissions office and inquiring about Global Law. What an unbelieveable joke!!! Honestly, if any 0L enrolls in this dump, they deserve to be indebted for life. Do you really think any large, international law firm is going to hire a graduate of this school for its international law practice? Give me a break. This place needs to wither away and die.

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  12. Distinguished faculty at I Tech Law:

    James Berles earned his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University-Bloomington and his law degree from South Texas College of Law. He currently serves as a law clerk to senior U.S. District Judge William Lee in Fort Wayne, Ind., and he was formerly a magazine editor for the oil and gas industry.

    Adam Lamparello earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California, his law degree from The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law, and a Master of Laws degree from New York University. He currently teaches criminal law at Morris County College in Randolph, N.J., and has taught legal research and writing at the Loyola University, New Orleans College of Law, and Mercer University School of Law in Macon, Ga.

    Charles MacLean is a former county attorney in Minnesota who currently teaches legal research and writing at the Duncan School of Law at Lincoln Memorial University in Knoxville, Tenn. MacLean earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and his law degree from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul.

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    1. THAT was painful to read.

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    2. What? Larry, Moe and Curley weren't available?

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    3. Duncan School of Law has had significant problems with accreditation. I don't think it bodes well for Indiana Tech that their Legal Research and Writing prof will come from DSL. Dean Alexander said that they wanted to show up as the third most brilliant school in Indiana. It doesn't look like that they hiring the faculty that will get them there.

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    4. Here's a theory. Maybe IT's prospects are so grim that no one with one of those coveted, well-paying lawprof or successful private practice jobs is willing to give up their current gig and risk being unemployed when Harvard on the Maumee implodes.

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  13. Perfect time for a new law school:

    "One of the country’s most prestigious and profitable law firms [Weil, Gotshal & Manges] is laying off a large number of lawyers and support staff, as well as reducing the pay of some of its partners, a surprising move that underscores the financial difficulties facing the legal profession."

    http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/06/24/big-law-firm-to-cut-lawyers-and-some-partner-pay/?ref=business

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    1. I think Weil attorneys will most assuredly go through "Company Men" (movie, 2010) type experiences. Those uncomfortable ad hoc meetings in partners offices... "I. Will. Win. Because I have faith. Courage. And Enthusiasm."

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    2. ".... surprising move that underscores the financial difficulties facing the legal profession."

      What is this "financial difficulties" of which you speak? Weil merely wants to lay-off its poorly educated attorneys who lack experience and hire this great new crop of practice-ready graduates with far, far better training.

      It's Springtime for Indiana.

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  14. 11:25 I read the NY Times article, that certainly is a sobering prospect. This Indiana dean is a self-serving and deceptive idiot.

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  15. "Indiana Tech's Dean Says It's Not About The Number of Jobs, It's About The Quality of the Graduates"

    And I say Indiana Tech's dean is a huge chunk of dogshit that's been stuffed into a sow's cunt, then squeezed out onto the balls of a raping boar by virtue of its vile thrusting, mixed with its cum. The stuff you scrape off the boar's balls is what Peter Alexander is.

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    1. Maurice Leiter, the poet laureate of filth, now trying his hand at prose, I gather.



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    2. Is that oo, Sculpting Pussy of Poop?

      Still fixated on your favorite topic, I see.

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    3. oh yeah biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitch!

      NIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIce.

      Fuck that homo cunt dean! He needs to be raped! (But only with words, not a huge rusty dildo or anything like that...)

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  16. Wasn't there this song that went something like:

    "Indiana wants me,
    Lord, I can't go back there
    Indiana wants me,
    Lord, I can't go back there

    I wish I had a talk with you, too
    If a dream ever needed dying, this did
    No one had a right to say, what he said about you
    And it's so cold and lonely here without work
    Out there, the law is coming,
    I've been so tired of running
    Indiana wants me, Lord, I can't go back there
    Indiana wants me, Lord, I can't go back there
    I wish I had you to talk to."

    Maybe I'm just misremembering.

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  17. what would Megan Marks do?

    http://abovethelaw.com/tag/megan-marks/

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  18. I am going to start up a nuclear engineering school and accept anyone, C averages in high school, low GRE scores, no math aptitude, whatever!

    A five-year graduate degree from my program will cost $120k, which is not that much when you consider that nuclear engineers make very good incomes. The students can take out loans, in expectation of positive outcomes. The taxpayers will back these loans, at any rate.

    I will pay myself $800,000 to be the dean of this school.

    If someone points out that graduates from a similar low-standards nuclear engineering school didn't have such great outcomes, I will say, "It's not about the number of jobs, it's the quality of the graduates."

    I will be correct, of course -- totally correct, and richer by $800k per year, plus the prestige of being a "professor". Yay, me!

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    1. North Carolina's worst law school (Elon) follows this model exactly.

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