Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New Course Offering: POV 575 (Lawyers in Poverty)

POV 575
LAWYERS IN POVERTY (4 CR)
OVERVIEW AND CLASS SYLLABUS

A. DESCRIPTION

This course is designed for graduating 3L students who wish to have hands-on practical training in poverty level survival techniques.

Please note: This course is NOT concerned with lawyers practicing in the area of legal assistance to low income persons (as such legal employment is nothing more than a myth perpetrated by law schools which you should have figured out by now!) Rather, this course will prepare YOU to enter poverty as a newly minted attorney.

Studies have shown that young attorneys have a difficult time adjusting to their new reality living at or near the poverty level. This course will begin with an historical overview of the lower social classes (which you are now entering despite having a Esq. at the end of your name) and proceed to an in-depth survey of the literature of the economic classification of poverty. It will also provide practical real-life lessons to students who will be navigating down to this social strata.

This course is designed for imminently graduating law students wishing to receive both theoretical and practical training in their post-graduate career. The course falls within our law school mission to provide "practice ready" training to our students. NOTE: Students earlier in their law school training will not be permitted to enroll in this course offering.


B. PRIOR EXPERIENCE UNNECESSARY

This class will assume no prior experience living at or near the poverty level. We appreciate that our law students have led comfortable middle and upper class lifestyles to this point. Please note that student lifestyles do NOT constitute poverty existence. Your existence up to this point has been either paid for by your parents or subsidized by your student loans. Living in luxury student complexes with saunas, rock walls and smoothie bars and an on-campus meal card will not be affordable in your post-graduate life. The purpose of this course is to expose and prepare our students to what they can expect in their post-graduate life and how it differs from their pre-JD lifestyle.

C. COURSE OBJECTIVES

1.  To introduce law students in "poverty" lifestyle economic theory so that they can wax philosophical about their post-graduate predicament.

2.  To provide practical training in living and raising a family in poverty with no credit and/or a poor credit rating and debt collectors a constant presence in their lives.

3.  To provide lessons and strategies in asking parents and other family members for "loans" that you "promise to pay back when your situation improves" through role-playing exercises.

D. COURSE TOPICS

1. How to make your food budget stretch through low cost carb alternatives such as pasta and rice. How to determine eligibility for food stamps and other government assistance.

2. How to deal with the nuts and bolts of eviction and foreclosure of yourself and family. How to constantly scan for postings on your front door. How to attempt to "buy time" with your lender. How to deal with judges (formerly Big Law partners) who look down upon attorneys who are in financial distress assuming they are "dirty lawyers." If time allows, we will also explore having your car repossessed in a public fashion such as when you pick your children up from school or at a family gathering.

3. How to deal with process servers and utility shut offs. Do you announce you are an attorney and threaten to sue? Is the defense of "there must be a mistake that bill was paid" effective? Where can you turn for assistance with turning the utilities back on?

4. What are the maximum withholdings that can be made to your Social Security check in your old age against your unpaid student loans?

5. Should you expand your contacts through social media in the hopes of picking up legal work? Should you withdraw from social media because it is too depressing to see friends move forward with their lives and plan vacations and post photos of their kids in travel soccer while you are mired in poverty and cannot afford to even watch soccer on cable television because it was shut-off for non-payment.

6. When is it "bad enough" that you should approach your family for loans? What is the best way to go about this? How to best deal with the awkwardness that results? Pretend it didn't happen or try to use it for placing your relative on a guilt trip in the hopes of scoring assistance the next time?

7. Learn how to move through your life as though you are invisible much like a 1L not making eye contact with their professors. Positive advantages of this are not being socially embarrassed by repeated economic failure. 

E. COURSE TEACHING METHODS

There are no texts or other materials to purchase for this course.

You will be required to prepare a projection of your professional income. This projection must be grounded in reality and cannot refer to any law school produced statistics which are obviously made up as noted by judges dismissing the class actions against law schools. You may interview students from prior years who are now practicing law to assist you in determining actual numbers or refer to so-called scam blogs which are accurate primary sources of information.

Once you have determined a realistic poverty level wage, you will need to determine the monthly payments on your student loans inclusive of undergraduate debt. If there are no funds left over, you may stop the budget project at this point. Those students will need to prepare a work out plan for their creditors and investigate public sources of assistance.

For those students with funds still available, you will  be required to prepare a projected budget that you can live on.

All students will be required to spend a week eating by spending only the amount allowed by their State's weekly food stamp budget (much like politicians do when they are trying to bring attention to themselves and their pet social projects in real life.)

Plan also to engage in role playing episodes where you try to negotiate settlements with creditors, explain your lack of success to your family and friends, and attempt to borrow money from relatives.

F. GRADING PLAN

This course is PASS/FAIL. Grades do not matter in the world you are about to enter. You should have figured that out by now.

G. CLASSROOM RULES OF CONDUCT

Please do not discuss course content with any 1L or 2L students. This will be grounds for automatic expulsion from the course.

H. FUTURE LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

Although you have been told by the dean not to read the scam bloggers, now that you are graduating you should immediately subscribe to "Outside the Law School Scam" and other scam bloggers for additional post-graduation survival techniques.

22 comments:

  1. I know a tax accounting professor who does this. They require their undergraduate students to make a projection of their income, calculate all federal and state income and local income and employment taxes (this is what makes it a legit assignment), calculate all expenses, determine which expenses if any are deductible (ditto in re: legit assignment), and determine net disposable income (or most often, deficit). They tell me it is a real eye-opener for their students.

    And this is for students with only undergraduate debt and far better career prospects.

    And so, that's the scary thing. R A B's brilliant post above doesn't raise a chuckle, but rather causes a shudder.

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  2. I. Dealing with Your Successful Blue Collar Relatives and Friends

    Avoid them. If you tell them through truth, they will dismiss you as a loser because, even though they make six figures working for the city and will retire with a six figure pension at 45, this outcome is still not good enough. After all, politicians tell them that they are the little guys, and that they have hard lives. So, they always dreamed that their kids would get out of the harsh world of lifetime pensions and guaranteed benefits, and into the Gravy Train models and bottles life of the white collar professional world.

    Also, do not think about lying, i.e. telling them it is all your fault for your failure. This also will not work. This will still make them hate you, as you squandered the opportunity they never had. And to that point, no matter what, never-ever- try to educate them on the reality of their lives for their benefit and the benefit of their children, i.e. that they are 100 times better off than the asshole with 7 years of post-secondary education, as this will ony serve to enrage them further.

    Like I said, avoidance is key.

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  3. I have a friend who works in a social services/public entitlements office in NYC. He has told me that in the last 3 years, the number of graduate students, particularly from law school, has spiked the applications for public assistance benefits. Clearly, the system is broken, and has been for some time.

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  4. What a stable, rewarding and lucrative "profession," huh?!?!

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    Replies
    1. What a piece of shit you are, Nando you cunt. Fuck off. This has nothing to do with you. You graduated with no law school debt so why the fuck are you so god damn angry?

      You went to law school on a scholarship WE PAID FOR YOUR FUCKING DEGREE!!!

      Go fuck yourself. Come back here when your 100G in debt, you entitled dogturd.

      Delete
    2. 3:28 What a ridiculous comment. Even if one goes to law school for free, there is still a huge opportunity cost if law school does not result in a legal job. It is even more so for someone who went through college thinking about law school and forgoing other options like healthcare or engineering for a few.

      I went to law school when it was cheap. My parents paid every dime. I worked in good jobs for many years as a lawyer. It was still a huge mistake to go to law school. The last several years have been awful. I could have done something else where I could work as long as I want with much more job security and more money than I have made over the last several years.

      Honestly, spending your life unsuccessfully looking for a permanent full time job that uses your law degree in some fashion is a horror. Your comment to Nando is completely inappropriate and completely insensitive. You are talking about a wasted life, or at least many years of a wasted life, for so many law school grads, even if law school is free.

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    3. IMHO it'd be totally fine for mods to not publish comments like 3:28's. --Jim

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    4. LOL at 3:28/Mr. Infinity/Knorps - he yells at people for wanting student loan bankruptcy protections and being deadbeats, but then when someone isn't a deadbeat the response is "don't come back here until you have some debt!"

      Mr. Inanity, how, exactly, did you "pay" for Nando's degree? Did the law school come shake you down? Did they hold a gun to your head and take your money? I thought you said law schools can spend money however they like.

      Damn, dude, take your medication.

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  5. "Network."

    Sorry, I was possessed by the ghosts of Joan King and Joan Wexler there for a moment...(shudder)...

    May the power of the scamblogs...COMPEL YOU!!!

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  6. Should one laugh or cry...isn't really sad that this is what the profession of law, the most noble profession, has become.

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    1. "A city of ruins, of desolation, of vacant houses, of widowed women, of rotting wharves, of deserted warehouses, of weed-wild gardens, of miles of grass-grown streets, of acres of pitiful and voiceful barrenness, that is Charleston, wherein Rebellion loftily reared its head five years ago, on whose beautiful promenade the fairest of cultured women gathered with passionate hearts to applaud the assault of ten thousand upon the little garrison of Fort Sumter!

      "We never again can have the Charleston of the decade previous to the war. The beauty and pride of the
      city are as dead as the glories of Athens. Five millions of dollars could not restore the ruin of these four
      past years; and that sum is so far beyond the command of the city as to seem the boundless measure of
      immeasurable wealth. Yet, after all, Charleston was Charleston because of the hearts of its people. St.
      Michael's Church, they held, was the centre of the universe; and the aristocracy of the city were the
      very elect of God's children on earth. One marks now how few young men there are, how generally the
      young women are dressed in black. The flower of their proud aristocracy is buried on scores of
      battlefields. If it were possible to restore the broad acres of crumbling ruins to their foretime style and
      uses, there would even then be but the dead body of Charleston."

      Sidney Andrews, observing Charleston, South Carolina 1865

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  7. RE: D 1. Avoid pasta if you have a gluten allergy.

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  8. "...lower social classes (which you are now entering despite having a Esq. at the end of your name)"

    Correction: "which you are now entering BECAUSE OF having an Esq. at the end of your name".

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  9. I remember parking my car in a parking lot not too long ago, and after shopping in a store for about 20 minutes I returned to my car and noticed that I was blocked by a tow truck with the vague name of "Recovery Services" or something similar printed on the side of the tow truck.

    The driver was almost finished hooking up a car that was parked nearby, and I asked the driver if he was going to be much longer, and I tried to tell him that his truck was blocking my car.

    The driver did not reply or look at me at all and after less than a couple of minutes had the car that he was obviously repossessing hooked up, and then jumped behind the wheel of his truck and sped off.

    I later wondered what happened to the owner of the car that had been repossessed, and if the owner thought his or her car had been stolen or what.

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    Replies
    1. tow truck drivers make bank....and it's easy to get into.

      I might have done something like that if I had not gone to law school as a nontraditional student, thus wasting the last of my youth on law school and solo "career" that depleted my savings.

      I was fooled by the skein of bogus income and job stats put out by the law school cartel. And I will make them pay for their crime.

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    2. So do something about it. What are you going to do to make them pay for their crimes? Whine in the comments of an anonymous blog?

      Or go take a shit in the law library and send us a photo?

      Or throw your shit at the white/blackboard in the classroom when nobody is looking?

      Or mail talc to the admissions office to have those aged scam cunts cry about how somebody mailed anthrax?

      Or go on a fucking rampage?

      What are you going to do?

      My guess? Fuck all.

      Thank you and goodbye, fag who can't be bothered to stand up for himself.

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    3. Anon 3:32 contributes nothing to the discussion, but rather detracts.

      Delete
    4. Again, 3:32/Mr. Insanity, take your meds. I'm sorry Crooklyn is losing money and selling some property in the process, but Wexler's salary demands it.

      It's not your fault - they bliked a lot of people. You could find comrades-in-arms here if you wanted to.

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  10. "And I will make them pay for their crime"

    Really, just what are you going to do? Sounds to me like you need some help here bub. I feel bad for your predicament but put the blame where it belongs . . ON YOURSELF. Nobody could have gone to law school over the last ten years and not known that there were too many lawyers and not enough jobs. Its merely gotten worse over that period of time. Anybody who took out hundreds of thousands in loans . . what the heck were you thinking? Did anybody bother getting a financial calculator before doing so and figuring out what it would cost in monthly payments? How is this the systems fault? They are salesmen and sold you something you shouldn't have bought. That's the way it always works.

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  11. " How to deal with judges (formerly Big Law partners) who look down upon attorneys who are in financial distress assuming they are "dirty lawyers."

    Meaning the financial distress makes them seem unethical or irresponsible and even among colleagues and peers?

    In any event, what should be remembered is that only about 3% or less among all existing student loan debtors carry said debt in the six figures.

    I don't know how many of that 3% are JD holders, and I would assume that the rest of the six figure debtor's are MD's and MBA's etc.

    But what would be interesting is to find out the actual number
    of JD's that have six figure debt, what the total- in millions or even billions-of that debt is, how long they have had the debt, and what the income history has been or is now, and how much interest has accrued, and if they are on IBR or PSLF, or if they have paid off their six figure debts etc.

    The abrupt end of ILSS is not clearly understood to date, and it is too bad Campos, given his massive readership base, couldn't have stayed around long enough to perhaps take a poll trying to collect the above figures.

    Another topic: In trying to be creative, I had once suggested that the ABA or some such body mandate that the law schools all pay into an intercompany pool or fund -similar to how the insurance industry pays into a guarantee fund so as to cover losses to the consumers in the event a member company becomes insolvent.

    However in my scenario, said fund would go towards mitigating the proven financial disaster that a portion of law grads have undergone, and any distribution or payout would be conditioned on a forfeiture of the juris doctorate degree.

    Such a plan would take the cure for the crippling debt of the individual out of the province of the bankruptcy system and it's draconian Bruner test, and at the same time would come to the rescue of a class that has proved to have no legal remedy (being, as the judge said, the "sophisticated consumers" that they are) and is, as I have indicated above, a very small and frowned upon and "dirty lawyer" if you will, minority class among its peers as well as the larger body of non lawyer student loan debtors that owe one trillion dollars in total to date.

    The legal profession ought to take care of its own, because, if it can't do that, it does not bode well for how the rest of society will be taken care of by the legal system.


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    Replies
    1. Society isn't taken care of by the legal system. Big Business/Big Finance/Big Insurance is taken care of by the legal system. See recent housing crisis for example. A homeowner with legitimate grievances going against a lender attorney with fraudulent paperwork results in a judge entering an eviction order 99.99% of the time.

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    2. Your ABA mandate to law schools made me think of another idea:

      How about we petition the ABA to ban law schools from paying a "tax" to their parent institutions? If the ABA ever did that, it would create pressure to make tuition lower. I think!

      --Jim

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