Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Brief Open Letter to Those Students Enrolled at Indiana Tech Law School

Guys, a few days ago, I wrote a piece about how it’s not too late to really evaluate whether or not you are making the right decision.

I’ll cut to the chase.  You’re not making the right decision.

Attending an unaccredited law school is always a bad decision.  Paying $30,000 per year in tuition alone for an unaccredited JD – and one from a school that explicitly “makes no representation to any applicant that it will be approved by the American Bar Association prior to the graduation of any matriculating student” makes this bad decision even worse.  Do you have any idea how difficult it is to pay off that kind of debt, which will be well above six figures – maybe even close to $200,000 – by the time all your living expenses, bar review courses, interest, books, and other fees and charges are added on?

And do you have any idea how impossible it will be to pay off coming from an unproven, probably-unaccredited law school?  Half of all law graduates today find no work as lawyers.  There are twice as many grads as there are jobs.  For schools at the bottom of the pile (which is where Indiana Tech is, and is likely to remain), the chances of ever working as a lawyer are dramatically reduced.  With your unaccredited Indiana Tech JD, you stand a very good chance of never working as an attorney, but paying the same price for your JD as those students who attend some fine law schools.

Indiana Tech wanted an enrolment of 100 students.  As of yesterday, there are 24.  On the one hand, this makes me very happy – at least 76 people are seeing sense and being smart about their futures.  But on the other hand, 24 clearly still don’t get it.  You are one of those 24, who rank as some of the most willfully-blind, poorly-informed individuals living in a snowflake dream world who just don’t see how you will regret this decision for the rest of your lives.  Some of the lower ABA-accredited law schools are begging for good applicants right now.  Is Indiana Tech really the best you could do?  Is law school even right for you?  The school is not even open yet, and it’s already giving Cooley a run for its money in terms of being a punch line.

The scam isn’t some pretend scheme that we’ve made up.  It’s not a group of disgruntled grads who failed because they were lazy.  It’s a legitimate problem, recognized by many people, clearly documented and based on facts.  And you 24 students are about to become its latest victims.

Why are you ignoring this?  Do you still not get it?  What parts of it do you still not understand, because maybe we need to be clearer?

I strongly urge you to read everything on this site, then on Inside the Law School Scam.  Then read Nando’s work at Third Tier Reality.  It’s all free, and it will take maybe a few hours to browse through in its entirety.  Then read Paul Campos’ book, Don’t Go To Law School (Unless), and then read my book, Con Law.

No, I’ll go one step further than that. If you are one of those 24 students who have enrolled at Indiana Tech Law School, I will send you a copy of my book for free.  You don’t even have to pay the $2.99 to download it from Amazon.  It’s on me.

Look, at this point in time, you’re a mere $400 out of pocket.  That’s the sum of the non-refundable deposits you’ve sent into Indiana Tech.  Please, for your own sake, walk away.  $400 lost now is far better than $200,000 lost over the next two decades, along with the countless opportunities you’ll miss out on because you’re in debt up to your eyeballs and branded as a lawyer.  Leave the $400 on the table, write a quick email to the admissions dean, and walk away.  Save law school for next year if you have to, and make sure you at least go to an accredited school.  Rolling the dice for a $200,000 bet on law school is risky even at the best ABA-accredited law schools in the nation.  Rolling the dice for a $200,000 bet on an unaccredited new law school where you will be “educated” by the most ridiculous bunch of academic misfits I’ve ever seen calling themselves a law faculty is insane.

You can do far better than this.

Anyone attending Indiana Tech this fall must want to be a lawyer really badly.  Or perhaps just wants to be a really bad lawyer.

Charles Cooper is the author, along with Thane Messinger, of “Con Law: Avoiding...or Beating...the Scam of the Century (The Real Student's Guide to Law School and the Legal Profession)”, in addition to being the moderator at and the author of “Later in Life Lawyers”.  He can be contacted at


  1. Perfect post!

    This blog should set a goal of shutting this toilet down before it has even started. Under 30 students is an embarrassment for this dump. The faculty are pathetic. Andre Pond Cummings? He is a joke. The school is a joke. And the joke is on the students who are bankrolling this scheme.

    We need someone like Reagan to say "Mr. Dean, tear down this toilet!"

  2. "Save law school for next year if you have to....."

    That is good advice. Sit it out for a year or two and reevaluate then. Time is on your side if you are young, and if you are older, waiting an extra year or two still won't kill you.

    In that time you can save up tuition money possibly, and won't have to gamble your future on potentially predatory student loans.

    Also, you might find another career path that you enjoy and one that won't cripple you with toxic, non dischargeable debt.

    This is a unique situation where one cannot just cut his or her losses and move on with life.

    The six figure debt is something that could hang over your life for a very, very long time and possibly well into retirement. And never forget that even if you are on IBR, you will be hit with a tax bill at the end because the debt that is forgiven will be treated like a bankruptcy.

    And so, the only other approach that I can think of is that if you insist on going to law school and want to "help people" as a lawyer later on, then go into it with the plan of going straight into government or public service work after graduation. That way your six figure debt will be forgiven after only 10 years, and you will not have a tax bill to pay at the end of the ten years and probably before age 35.

    That's the way it all stands now, barring any changes in federal legislation (unlikely).

  3. Here is a question:

    What is the retirement situation for solo practitioners?

    It sounds like a small marginal practice will not be able to afford putting money into a pension fund, and so a lot of lawyers will have to keep working well past retirement age?

    1. Yup - you should see some of the crypt keepers wandering the halls of the courthouses. The lucky solos and small firm workers become judges.

    2. I know many very wealthy older attorneys who still work. attorneys in private practice usually keep on going whether they did the money or not. many have been identified with the job so long, they can not imagine what their lives would be like if they didn't work. I have known more senior attorneys who have died than have retired.

      its a part of the problem with this profession, older attorneys don't retire to give opportunities to younger attorneys.

    3. Exactly - and in NY the Chief Judge of the highest court (a classic limousine liberal) created a 50 hour pro bono work requirement for entrance to the bar during this unprecedented crisis in the profession...and this year he sponsored a bill with one of his legislative cronies for increasing the mandatory retirement age for judges to 80 years old. He openly admits to wanting to stay Chief for another 10 years with no thoughts about the effect that this law would have on the profession in the state. It is exactly what the profession does not need: more of the ancients clinging to the few paid positions and causing the young lawyers on the career conveyor belt to get backed up even more.

    4. The pro bono requirement should be illegal. Do NYC cab drivers have to drive 50 hours for free before they can start the meter? Do cops have to walk a beat for 50 hours without pay before they can graduate the academy? Do janitors have to clean 50 toilets for free before they can apply for a job?

      And let's not forget that many (if not most) law grads have already given away countless hours of free labor in terms of journal staff work (benefits rich professors), externships (the schools charge you for the privilege of working without pay for a third party), and internships of all types.

      I can't fathom how anyone could look at struggling young law grads, many of whom are $100K+ in debt, and say, "You have to work 50 hours for free before we will give you the privilege of fighting for what little paying work remains in this dying career field."

    5. The one "legal" newspaper in my state (a weekly) ran an article a few years ago on the topic of what happens when a solo dies while still practicing. The article said that it was an increasing problem because so many lawyers who had retired were reactivating their licenses and practicing until they dropped dead when they found that they couldn't afford to retire. I was lucky. While a solo I held a part-time state position that produced a decent pension and lifetime medical coverage for me and my wife. I think most solos are looking at social security alone.

    6. 12:05/1:28, spot on. How many "rags-to-riches" judges are out there, and how many of that subset sit as Chief Judge of the highest state court?

      Damn few, I'm willing to bet. You don't get there without the right connections. The "50 hours of pro bono" is the upper-class slap on the wrist to their limousine-liberal-colleague's sons and daughters, in an attempt to teach them "values" and "work ethic", before their eventual ascension to the family throne. The folks who are from modest means, and who go significantly into debt to achieve their goals, already know what it means to help those in need as they have likely received some assistance themselves as some point.

      Just goes to show how out-of-touch many people are. Grand gestures full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Like most ScamDean/LawProfs.

  4. Thanks for the plug. The offer of a free book to the 24 fools is also generous. Indiana TTTTTech spent $16 million on this new building. These charlatans will not stay in business long, if they cannot bring in much larger classes.

    As I wrote in a comment on the Law School Scam site:

    "Perhaps, the commode will start open admissions - with a simple survey.

    "Why do you want to be a lawyer?"

    "I like lamps."

    "How will your legal education benefit others."


    "What do you consider your biggest achievement to date?"

    "My girlfriend has pretty feet."

    "Okay, congratulations! You will be enrolled in our fall class."

    1. We need to name and shame these dumb students. Some are listed in the news articles.

      Also we need a summary of the "qualifications" of each "professor". That alone should put off any more students.

      Lastly, anyone good with finances? If the school was counting on 125 students each year and gets only 30, what tuition raises will they see? Will this be a $50k tuition school in two years?

      If I was the president of the university, I would do the right thing and shut the school down now, and move the nursing program or math or computer science into the new building. Give it to people who need it.

    2. I won't make fun of or shame the long as they quit after seeing this mess for themselves on Day 1.

      The dean and professors, however, should be publicly humiliated and blacklisted from any kind of legal employment. This attempted cash-grab is so blatant and awful that even other "legal academics" should be outraged.

    3. very nice comment. like it

  5. Yeah. Go to Washington & Lee instead where you have almost a 50% chance of getting a real legal job when you graduate.

    1. W&L isn't the only "first tier" school with such problems. Terrible employment outcomes plague most schools outside the T13.

      At a time when grads of the "good" schools are hurting, I can't imagine what it will be like for an unaccredited Indiana Tech grad.

  6. Indiana Tech Law? I remember reading about a bullshit feasibility study that was commissioned to justify this law school's construction. The study concluded that there was an overwhelming demand for law schools in Indiana. I am sure that study cost several thousand bucks (probably less than $50K). I hope the trustees of this dump can get their money back because 24 enrolled students does not represent an "overwhelming" demand.

    Indiana Tech Law sounds like an instant disaster. They have a professor who is a self-professed authority on "Hip-hop and the Law." I wonder if this professor will discuss in class who murdered Biggie Smalls or Tupac Shakur. Maybe the erudite professor will come out with his own theory on how the murders were staged to drive up sales of records and that Biggie and Pac are chilling in Cuba with Elvis.

    Indiana Tech Law needs to shut down. There is no need for more lawyers, especially dumb ones from unaccredited commodes. These 24 students will have no legacy and are asking for shit stain on their resume that they will never be able to remove.

  7. Previously, when I read about Indiana Tech, I naively assumed it was a school comparable to say, Texas Tech or Georgia Tech, that had decent other academics but was simply trying to be greedy.

    A casual glance at their website shows that, aside from some pithy basketweaving degrees like "Police Administration" and "Global Management" they offer only BS and AS degrees, aside from MBAs (which is another feeding trough on its own).

    Has anyone done any analysis of law school parent-university classification? Obviously some law schools exist solo... but most seem to be tied to a PhD granting university. This seems more like a college. Like Swarthmore, Haverford, Vassar... but without the prestige.

    1. I think people automatically assign credibility to a state school. It's as if they assume the benevolent state government wouldn't run the school if it weren't necessary.

      This school is a worse scam than the "for-profit" schools, because it preys on student's faith in the public university system.

      If you don't believe me, why is Cooley trying so hard to affiliate with Western Michigan University?

  8. I certainly admire Mr. Cooper's efforts. However, if these fools have decided on Indiana Tech after all the info. that's out there, it's doubtful that anything Mr. Cooper says will change their minds.

    Maybe I should change my career and go into the legal educational field. Seems like if you're just the least bit intelligent, you can scam someone, somewhere.

    You all wouldn't hate me if I turned to the other side, now, would you?

    1. Campos crapped out.

      Tamanaha also crapped out.

      Debbie Merrit was thankfully massively overlooked and can be on track for her pension fer sure and whatever comes out of her mind for "scholarship" and all is right and well in the world and good and just and fair and true.

      Such is the way things go.

      Go for it and ride the student loan gravy train for all it is worth.

      What the hell? Maybe Campos and Tamanaha and Merritt can crap back in?

      That is unlikely though.

  9. The situation is starting to break. Charleston Law being bought by Infilaw. Indiana Tech enrolling almost no students. There was a story on Lawyers, Guns & Money suggesting that Hamline Law was entering the end game of its death spiral. Empires generally appear strong to the outside world until right before they fall. The great correction may not happen until next year, as it may take another year of declining applications before the big changes occur, but when it comes, things will happen quickly.