Monday, July 15, 2013

Why I am now a Law School Shill‏

Ok, this one is serious: I officially change my colors and announce that I henceforth will be a law school shill. I no longer wish to expose the law school scam, but rather to hide it, cover it up, distract and blame others for it. This may be shocking to many of you, especially our tenured readers. Allow me to explain my change of heart and mind, so I am not second-guessed. Do not attempt to persuade me otherwise, I am resolved to do what is right. 

The problem is the "scam", as the others on here refer to a solid legal education, has been so exposed already, and is now so obvious of its true nature, that it is hardly even a scam anymore. You may have read the increasing number of comments that go like this: "If anyone graduates after [sometime after the commenter graduated], they deserve what they get. Back in [when the commenter matriculated] nobody would have known, but now they should, so too bad, so sad." I find this logic to be solid, and will count this as an unblocked roundhouse given to the scambloggers' pouty faces. 

Now, in addition to that argument, I have another, more personal: the scam is so blatant, and has been so ridiculed and left to be wondered at, that there is nothing really for me to add. Could any rational creature—rational even by partially-hairless ape standards—think that "hanging a shingle", after reading the multi-essay exposure by one of the other posters here, is a non-laughable proposition? "Hang a Shingle" is, just on sound and phrase alone, totally stupid and nonsensical. Do you Frosted Flakes really think that you will just graduate with $200k in non-dischargeable debt and no practical skills besides antediluvian "Shelly's Case" concepts and somehow compete with established attorneys in a dying and flooded market in the midst of a permanently "changing" (i.e., shrinking) economy? It boggles the mind that anyone could be as stupid as to think they could avoid the brutality of the legal market by "hanging a shingle". I have to say that I would rather display courage, like the real man that I am (now that I am a shill, I can say that proudly), and take the challenge of defending the scam. At this point, anyone could be a scamblogger. But who could defend the system? It takes real skill to help out the Joanie twins in their quest to keep up pretences.

You scambloggers pretend to have reason (gee, where did you learn that skill, hypocrites? LOL). How about this bit of reality for you: If everything you scambloggers say is true, then it is false. That is, there is no problem as far as law school goes, because all of its dangers are now known. For instance, if the law school promise of good employment outcomes is exposed as a lie, as it has been, then it is no longer believable because it has been exposed. So the employment stats, if true, mean there are still good outcomes for law graduates; if false, then we already knew that, thanks to suckers like you-know-who on that other blog. Anyone who relies upon an exposed lie is a fool and in a sense has victimized themselves. Fool me once, shame on you . . . but we the students have already been fooled once! 

The second time is our fault. The first round of fooling has ended, and we have told the world of how evil those big bad Joanies in Rude York city were to us and our feelings. If the "Stupid Snowflakes" (as they should really be known) still fall for it, how is that a scam? It is no more a scam than when someone jumps off the Golden Gate Bridge. It is known if you jump off the Golden Gate Bridge, you die when you hit freezing water at nearly one hundred miles per hour. If you still choose to do so, whose fault is that, but yours? Law School is like a tall bridge over shark-infested water; you could jump, but don't call it a scam. You spin the wheel, you take your chances on red or black. As far as I am concerned, the scam is over. It is now too obvious to hide behind any more excuses. The scambloggers have put themselves out of business.

Admin, shut down this site!


  1. Also, since "everyone knows" that law-school job placement numbers are so ridiculous that no one would believe them, it's no longer morally wrong to just make them up. Everyone knows these numbers are just marketing, so what's the problem?

    If you are dumb enough to believe that precise, specific numeric values published in a magazine actually mean anything, then that's too bad for you.

    When two or more significant digits are reported in some law school-related stat, that's just like Spock telling Kirk that the probability of success is precisely 19,532.67 to one -- everyone knows that the Enterprise will be fine, so that all those seven significant digits really mean is that science fiction is awesome.

    1. "Follow the money."

      That's what 'Deep Throat' told the two Washington Post reporters way back in the Watergate Scandal. That that sage advice ultimately led to the uncovering of the Nixon administration's involvement in the Watergate burglary.

      "Follow the money." It's still good advice today.

      Here, we should be focusing more on the federally funded Student Loans. They are the oxygen that allows the law school fire to burn. (You remember the fire triangle, right? Fire needs heat, fuel and oxygen to burn). Get rid of that oxygen, and the out-of-control growth of marginal law schools shuts down overnight.

      Follow the money.

    2. How about more law schools? For free!

      Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) says, “we shouldn’t even be charging young people to go to school.”

  2. Mods, do us all a favor and stop allowing comments from Infinity about how law school is a good idea, or from Boomer who tells us that law is full of wondrous opportunities, prestige and stability.

    Thx in advance.

    This is OTLSS, not "Shills Get Their Say Too!"

    1. Listening to the other side (especially when meant as satire) is pretty enlightening, and in this case, entertaining. Would you be threatened if a dean got wild and posted a defense here? In the unlikely event that that would ever happen, I bet WE would be the assholes.

      By the way, only twerps say things like "Thanks in advance."

      How about just "Thank you" or wait until they actually do something, then take the time out of your hectic schedule to say "Thank you." Or is that too hard?

  3. Improved transparency has had a huge effect on the market for law degrees, reducing applications from 88,000 to 58,000 over just three years. It's now routine for mainstream media people to note that there's a good possibility going to law school will leave a person jobless and broke (See the jokes that were made yesterday when George Zimmerman reportedly said he was thinking of going to law school).

    The next step is federal educational loan reform, specifically eliminating GRADPLUS loans, or at least making them much harder to get. This change by itself would probably close a quarter of the law schools in the country.

    1. The next step is also requiring law schools to disclose longitudinal employment statistics.

      I practice in an practice area and geographic locale where the market for what I do is glutted. The problem is that the market is also glutted for what I do in the entire United States, and there is no market abroad for this. All the time, unsuspecting top law school grads are being lured into this practice area by big la firms running up or out policies.

      You cannot switch to another practice area after a few years in this area because of the lawyer glut, and you cannot get a business job with this experience.

      What you have is many experienced highly credentialed lawyers coming from large law firms and large corporations who cannot get any type of work at all in my practice area and city. You have jobs that disappear abruptly - either because of lack of demand, up or out policies or simply because the Supermen and Superwomen in positions of power can churn lawyers and flex their muscles doing just that. Problem is, once the job disappears, there is a big likelihood of never working again as a lawyer, never using that big law experience or even that college or law degree. There are practically no open jobs in this area throughout the United States for experienced lawyers with 10 plus years of experience.

      The law students are knocking down the doors of big law to enter this specialty, or any specialty at all - long term jobs be damned, or maybe they just do not realize how bleak the long term is and want to keep their heads in the sand.

    2. ^^^^^ times 100.

      This topic should be the focus of several postings. It cannot be overemphasized.

      Prospective law students never consider 10-year career outcomes and the law schools certainly don't feature them. Worse, students assume that once they achieve legal employment, their law jobs will resemble other jobs where you work in the field until you're old and somewhat dottery.

      Scamblogging needs to shine a bright light on the issue of lawyer "Shelf Life." It's part of the scam, albeit in a passive way. Law schools rely on the inherent assumption that legal employment is a longterm asset. Many profs probably believe this to be true. And when you're in your 20s, you're not overly interested (and understandably so) in retirement planning or setting money aside for burial plots. Even 5 years is a long damned time. (I thought that way and this ain't a knock).

      But the prospective law student needs to be told not merely that the Prize of becoming an Associate at a firm goes to only about 25% of the grads of top third of law schools (which has been said), but should you happen to win that relatively and increasingly rare Prize, chances are 90% that 'your' associateship will last no more than 3 or 4 years.

      That's right, you're spending 3 years in law school to obtain a 3-4 year 'career.' Kind of like making monthly payments on a mortagage when the house stands a 90% chance of being taken through eminent domain so they can widen the freeway.

      The shelf-life of the highly talented, ultra hard-working, self-promoting lawyers who through luck and sheer perserverance are fortunate enough to make it through all of the hoops is utterly abysmal.

      You've really gotta understand the concept of "up or out" and the ramifications it has had on the profession as a whole. It not only means that your firm has every business incentive to dump you after 3-4 years, but in the macro sense, your firm's been dumping loads of lawyers into the general practice pool for years and will continue to do so. Apart from how "up or out" effects you personally, it has long since poisoned the well of the profession in general by creating far, far too many lawyers. The business model is to use associates as long-term (3-4 year) temporaries, then discard them.

      You're gonna be on the street within several years of graduation. Of course you can 'hang a shingle,' but there are too many shingles. See, e.g., Yellow Pages. If your spouse has a regular paying job, you may be able to supplement the spouse's income with some bits and pieces from general practice (where your clients determine your specialty and your paycheck). Few chose this way of life. It is forced on them.

      When you're spending the amount of money you'd be spending on a house in order to go to law school, you owe it to yourself to see how long you'll actually get to stay in that house you just bought.

      The vast, vast majority of new homeowners will get evicted by eminent domain within five years, even though they've been diligently making their monthlies.

      Today's uttery insane (obscene) increase in law school tuition should make every student think far, far more about her future than previous generations.

      Law ain't a great choice and it certainly shouldn't be pursued for someone looking for 'the money' or looking for an interesting practice area.

    3. If schools reported 10 or 20 year employment outcomes, even the T14 would look like worthless toilets. Dumping associates after 3-4 years is built into the business models of law firms. It's worse than the law school curve. Only a tiny percent will make partner, and the rest will be on the street.

      Long-term law jobs are EXTREMELY rare, and anyone who gets one will hold on for dear life as long as they can. If you mess up, piss someone off, get a gray hair, or just get too comfortable, you will be replaced by one of the hordes of new law grads desperate for a job.

      And returning to your old career or starting a new one is extremely hard. You will be forever stigmatized as a failed lawyer by those who still think that being a lawyer is a ticket to riches and glory.

    4. "up or out"

      I once read (not online) a quote from the managing partner of a big New York law firm to the effect of:

      'We make partners based on what we think of the candidate and OUR NEEDS AT THE TIME' (all caps added)

      There is almost no way a BigLaw firm is going to make more than 1 in 20 of its associates partner - because they don't NEED that many (if any) new partners at any given moment in time. And the % of associates who do make partner after 8 years of at-will servitude is probably closer to somewhere between 1 in 25 and 1 in 0 (i.e. none that year).

      And not only are BigLaw firms not going to make the vast majority of their associates partner, they also need to get rid of them on a systemic basis to make room for the graduates law schools are churning out every year. And while firms generally go through some sort of review process, once an associate gets one (justified or not) unfavorable review, they will be 'out' sooner rather than later.

      BigLaw firms are under NO pressure to make people partner, but they are expected to every year hire at least some people who have just graduated from law school.

      Because if BigLaw stopped hiring several thousand new graduates every year, the whole Law School scamplex would collapse.

      All of this leads to a never-ending 'up or out', with out being the fate of the vast majority of people hired by BigLaw. And with the hyper-glut of lawyers today, out all too often means unemployed/solo 4-10 years after graduation.

    5. Even those lawyers who make partner do not all stay partner. It is very hard to hang on. It is hard if you are the primary caregiver of two or more children. It is hard if you are a member of a minority group because in the past few of your peers have been in a position to help you out by giving you work, so it is a bit harder than it is for white males to bring in business. Even for white males, bringing in business is hard.

      There is also the problem of cyclical practice areas (bankruptcy and real estate) and waning practice areas (ERISA) and the difficulty of getting into a dynamic practice area when your practice area has reduced work for several years or indefinitely. You are not going to be able to make a switch to another practice area unless you are a very recent law school graduate. Big law surely will never train an experienced lawyer in a new practice area, and bring them in as a junior associate.

      The big problem is the incredibly short job tenure of most lawyers in their jobs today, the fact that lawyer jobs disappear abruptly and how hard it is to find another lawyer job.

      I started seeing this a decade ago where a couple of lawyers older than me with Harvard and Yale Law degrees, respectively, just did not recover from job losses. These lawyers were academic superstars and were in different practice areas, but they never got their legal careers back, and they tried and tried again. Since that time I have seen more and more displaced Harvard and Yale Law and other comparable legal superstars who are not making a living and are trying very hard to do so.

    6. Flooding the market with lawyers has greatly reduced the value of lawyers, and worse, makes them totally disposable. We're approaching the point where a firm lawyer has the working life of a set of good tires on your car. Change em' out every 50,000 miles.

      The throwaway society has reached the professions.

      If law schools wanted to save their own skin, they would immediately launch a voluntary Moratorium, whereby they wouldn't enroll a new class this Fall of and from then going forward, but would instead concentrate solely on flushing the current enrollees out of the system. In 2016, they could consider enrolling a new class, at considerably reduced levels.

    7. The issue isn't any of this. It's that our society has become weak, telling the young that they must work for someone else, and filling their heads with crap about just about everything.

      The answer is for a significantly higher percentage of high-motivation stars to start their own businesses. Not solo practice, but a real business, providing some real product or service.

      Go do something. Go make something. Stop living someone else's lie.

      My uncle worked in engineering, and when he was our age, there wasn't any part of the engineering world that wasn't absolutely booming, striving for new smart people, many of whom would go out and start their own shops, or get involved in really interesting work. Now, the smartest go to law school or get their MBAs. Everyone worries about whether the disaster of ObamaCare will hurt or really hurt or really really suck. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Stop expecting someone else to solve your problems.

    8. "But the prospective law student needs to be told not merely that the Prize of becoming an Associate at a firm goes to only about 25% of the grads of top third of law schools (which has been said), but should you happen to win that relatively and increasingly rare Prize, chances are 90% that 'your' associateship will last no more than 3 or 4 years."

      Absolutely right!

      One difference is that the top-shelf associate is more able to find another solid but often non-law job.

      This is a good thing, not a bad thing. It takes us back to the point: It's not that law school is bad for everyone, but it's bad for nearly everyone. I read Con Law, and it has a good section on dropping out--when to. I never would have even considered that, but I wish I had. Damn.

      If one is "lucky" enough to land a good position, start looking RIGHT AWAY for your exit. You'll be glad you did.

    9. @ 10:13

      Bingo. We as a society have decided that everyone should get "a job" and "a salary" and we actually tend to villainize those who think outside the box and get rich off their ideas. What we seem to forget is that innovation is the only way to create real economic growth.

  4. and the movement dies as they eat their own for not agreeing with them 100% of the time.

    1. But you vill agree viss me, ja?!

  5. I made the decision to go to law school at the start of my sophomore year of undergrad. And I didn't just decide it, I "committed" myself to the path by choosing political science as my major. We often talk about liberal arts losers who go to law school because their degrees turned out to be worthless, but I assume many choose a liberal arts major in conjunction with a choice to follow it up with law school. That's what I did and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

    The effect of the sunk cost fallacy is much too powerful for any scam blogs or hard data to overcome. Once the special snowflakes commit themselves to the path, it's too late. The time to intervene is before they make that commitment. Most people assume that time is right before matriculation, but for many people it starts long before that (3 years in my case).

    So if you want to give the special snowflakes the maximum benefit of the doubt (and why not?), then I would say the first "no excuses" class would be the 1L class of 2015. These are people who were just starting their freshman year of college in 2011 when Campos and Tamanaha managed to spread the message. I might even amend this to the class of 2016, as it may have taken a while to spread and sink in.

    Even if you don't want to give the special snowflakes a break, I think we can still expect to see an even greater reduction in law school applications as the "committed" undergrads work their way through.

    1. You are still young enough to change course. Even if you completed a year of law school, you are young enough to change course.

      The longer term employment statistics for lawyers many years out of law school are much poorer than the first year statistics. Even the top law schools are anything but sure bets that you will be able to earn anything from your law degree once you are older. Hundreds of thousands of law grads, many from top schools and with top records are unemployed and underemployed after starting in presigious big law jobs or clerkships.

      You may have sunk costs, but you are likely to have even more sunk costs continuing on this path. It is stupid not to get that engineering or pharmacy or pre-medical or physician assistant or medical technician training now. Those areas offer a much better career path in the long run than the one you are taking.

      Your sunk cost argument based on what you took in college is a complete fallacy. You will very likely be able to work long term going into the health care field. You will likely be out of work long term going into law.

    2. Cooper has a great take on the sunk-cost argument in Con Law. Essentially, most will think of tuition already paid has having "value," but Cooper completely destroys that argument. It's not like deciding whether to sell a car you're not finished restoring.

      If anyone gets to the end of their first year and is in the bottom half, get out. Drop.

    3. You WILL be out of work long-term by going into law.

      Re-commit to yourself and leave a sinking ship behind.

  6. EVERYONE - please go to Cooley. You will get a great job, tons 'o' cash and oodles of hot, perky women. In just a few short years you will driving a sports car with an Italian name. Trust me, going to law school, but especially Cooley, will open many doors to your future. I urge you to apply and ship your ass out to Michigan ASAP.

  7. "Michael... Who are the Lemmings?" -Mrs. Waits

  8. In your new career as a law school shill, I encourage you to use the following approach:

    "Law school is a risky proposal, except at ________ School of Law, where we have _______ program that makes our students highly employable."

    This is the new pitch, and it is working great. Law schools know that people are realizing most law schools are a waste of money, so they sell their specific law school as an exception. That's what my first tier trap did.

  9. Another possible law student.

    Family friends: Zimmerman wants to go to law school

    1. Perhaps he needs to profile the law profession more carefully, defend himself against the shills who urge people to go, and once he has all of the data in hand, simply Stand his Ground and just say 'no.'

    2. Re the travesty that is/was the TRIAL:

  10. I'm sure that wannabe cop Zimmerman can gain admission to at least one ABA-accredited trash heap - as long as he has a Bachelor's degree and scores at least a 145 on the LSAT.

  11. It's crazy how stubborn some snowflakes are. One time back in 2009 I spent at least 1 to 2 hours on the phone with a snowflake explaining everything about the scam (the bi-modal salaries etc.) only to find out months later that the snowflake enrolled at some tier 2 dump.
    I figured no matter what I say, these snowflakes just don't understand hard facts and numbers unless they see it another occasion

    I told another guy that wanted to go to law school to pay 25 bucks and post an employment ad on Craiglist for "Entry level attorney" that pays 70K in the city that he hopes to practice after he graduates. I told him to expect at least a couple of hundred resumes within a few days. I think that was better tactic but I don't know if he actually did this experiment...

    1. Ever learn what happened to that 2009 student? He would have graduated by now.

      But don't forgot what a powerful influence parents are, on younger students at least. And most parents across America would be absolutely delighted if their kids chose to go to law school, any law school,

    2. "But don't forgot what a powerful influence parents are, on younger students at least. And most parents across America would be absolutely delighted if their kids chose to go to law school, any law school,"

      Excellent point! If we could reach PARENTS, we might have much better success.

      Most parents actually have enough on the ball, and understand just how dangerous this is. Maybe they would listen. They're probably more inclined to actually read the books, for sure, and maybe that would be enough to get them to believe what OTLSS/ILSS has been saying all along.

  12. It's not simply a matter of dubunking shills for law school. It's exposing the highly unusual, total disconnect between the legal academy and the legal profession.

    Visualize the situation like this:

    Let's replace "law school" with "astronaut training program." Suddenly, the astronaut training program is open to almost everybody who wants to try. Lower-ranked schools are available to accomodate those who can't break into the higher-ranked schools. If there's a will, there's truly a way.

    Most people instinctively agree with this set-up; it's open to all, and is supposedly a meritocracy.

    Everyone (and parents) is very proud, excited, thrilled and impressed upfront to having been selected for the astronaut training program. It's prestigious, and you're on your way to exploring the galaxy. Astronauts are brave heroes, and the whole world knows about those brave men landing on the moon. Gemini, Apollo, SkyLab, Space Shuttle, ISS. The prestige is already there.

    You suddenly went from being a college student (Spring Break, beer bongs, fluff electives, going buzzed to fluff elective classes if you go at all, frizbee golf) to being in the Astronaut Corps simply by signing up.

    That's the larger scam-- if you wish to call it that. It's more like a juvenile, overly optimistic fairy tale that young people and their parents despartely want to believe. And yes, like all Fairy Tales, it has some remote basis in a sliver of reality. There ARE Princesses who live in palaces and occasionally ride through the streets in state-provided coaches.

    And so, you pay good money (or incur bad debt) and expend much time and effort to complete the astronaut training program. The astronaut training program is fairly rigorous, but of course cannot actually send you to another planet for training, so it is somewhat theoretical. You're probaly not truly lunar ready --and maybe not even Saturn saavy-- but it's prestigious and gives you a purpose. You work hard, and focus wholly on space. You're consumed with it.

    You graduate, and find that what they didn't tell you is that there are nowhere near as many astronaut slots as there are graduates. Worse, Gemini, Apollo, SkyLab, Space Shuttle, ISS are all long in the past, and the space agency is now concentrating on unmanned spacecraft for long-distance exploration of deep space. Yes, there are a few working astronauts used now, but the number of them has absolutely no rational relationship to the number of astronaut training program grads, and more significantly, focus of the whole program has shifted to unmanned space exploration.

    And no one really told you that Neil Armstrong was 38 when he set foot on the moon, and that he didn't make a return trip.

    Along with the dwindling astronaut slots, there are a few astronaut-advantage jobs, and a number of space contractors like to use grads for 3-4 year stints in space-related contracting work.

    But the vast majority of you cannot possbily be astronauts simply because you went through the traning program.

    The struggle for the grad is what to do. And here the true shills start: You should have worked far harder and brow-nosed with the Administrator; you should have gotten a specialization in Venus's geography; you should start your own Space Agency, make yourself a solo astronaut, and be the first man on Uranus.

    To the young and their parents, law school looks great up front. And law school strangely still retains the fairy tale image. But it's certainly not an investment and in most cases, does not result in a seat on a spacecraft.

    1. At astronaut school, you are taught by astronaut professors who have read hundreds of books on space theory but who have never set foot in a spacecraft, much less in space. A few of them spent a few years clerking for an astronaut or shuffling papers at launch control.

      They will only teach you about things like the big bang theory and the life cycle of a star; anything about how to actually operate a spacecraft is beneath them.

    2. This should be a separate, front-page post.

    3. Most people applying for law school are told up front - "law school doesn't teach you how to be a lawyer, it teaches you to think like a lawyer" and "the skills you learn preparing for the bar don't teach you anything about being a lawyer - you learn how to be a lawyer on the job." What they don't tell you is that it's practically a coin flip whether you have an opportunity to learn on the job. There aren't private "astronaut training programs" per se because everybody knows that there are only a few slots for space travelers. People aspiring to be astronauts actually learn transferrable skills that can be used in other endeavors (STEM)and employers don't think people who washed out of the astronaut training program are losers. Aspiring lawyers learn a disciplined thought process, which might have some intrinsic value but for the fact that employers automatically think there is something wrong with you if you are a lawyer who can't find a job practicing law.

    4. Should be a main post.

      But then some douchebag Boomer who was an astronaut back in the eighties comes along and tries to dominate the debate by telling us all how he had no problems back when he was applying for astronaut jobs.

      And then along comes some Infinity kind of person who tells us al that he's still going to astronaut school because what else is there to do? And some graduates must be astronauts so why not him? And he dominates the conversation too.

      And then readers come here and see that half the comments are all about how great astronaut school is and how many opportunities it brings, and they take that away instead of "astronaut school is a scam".

    5. Being an astronaut IS cool, and going to astronaut school could be cool.

      But we're not flying shuttles anymore, or doing much of anything worthwhile for astronauts.

      So why not do something else?

  13. Enough pointless thoughts. Can you please write about something useful like... legal constructs addressed in Younger vs Harris?


    1. Younger v. Harris is about abstention.

      Abstaining from law school and other magical thinking is the order of the decade.

    2. I thought he ( @12:40) was talking about abstaining from posting useless comments like, say, his.

  14. I agree that the astronaut post should be a separate, front page post.

  15. Youd be better off getting stoned 24/7 and watching troll 2 with friends for four years than going school.

    1. How about getting off the weed, getting motivated, and actually doing something with your life?

  16. Two points, both off topic.
    -First: Excellent article in the WSJ today about mid and low tier law schools being forced to lay off faculty and staff (sorry, no link). This opening paragraph is music to my ears:

    “Law schools across the country are shedding faculty members as enrollment plunges, sending a grim message to an elite group long sheltered from the ups and downs of the broader economy.”

    -Second: Saw an ad on the subway this morning by a local crap heap college (LIU) reminding prospective students that it is still accepting applications for the fall semester and -like a carnival barker- promising a “free” i-pad mini to newly admitted students.

    1. Here's a link to an excerpt of the WSJ (subscription only) article:

      "Law schools across the country are shedding faculty members as enrollment plunges, sending a grim message to an elite group long sheltered from the ups and downs of the broader economy."

    2. It was kind of funny that the picture accompanying the article was of graduation at Harvard.

  17. This OP by Bell is satire or sarcasm? Not sure.

    But anyway, I was thinking about free markets and basic contractual concepts involving risk as compared to the risk the financial institutions or the unwilling (due to government intervention) taxpayers face when a student loan defaults or is placed on IBR (which is arguably the same thing as default)

    Here is a quote about the law of large numbers:

    "It is the law of large numbers that allows insurance companies to charge affordable premiums. Insurance companies must have sufficient data to conclude some insureds will experience a financial loss and many will not. The insurance company uses premiums collected from every insured to pay policy benefits to the few who suffered a loss. The carrier must do so in such a way that the carrier remains compliant with various rules and regulations and is able to generate a profit. If the law of large numbers does not apply, the risk is not transferable by way of an insurance policy, or the premium to do so would be much too high."

    But of course as I say all concepts of risk are moot in a Socialistic economy and it does not matter if there is no consideration between some of the parties to the student loan contract. I guess.

    And will Obamacare follow the federally guaranteed student loan model?

    1. I didn't "get" this post either. Not good.

    2. of course obamacare will follow the same model. forcing insurance carriers to cover anyone who has a pre existing condition is a recipe for disaster for insurance companies and those that pay premiums when they are healthy

    3. "of course obamacare will follow the same model. forcing insurance carriers to cover anyone who has a pre existing condition is a recipe for disaster for insurance companies and those that pay premiums when they are healthy"

      Yep. We're heading off a cliff that will make the recession look like a few ants at a picnic. The "cliff" isn't Obamacare, by the way, but it's part of it.

    4. Speaking of risk, here's where interest rates are headed (and it ain't down):

      Imagine that? Asking politicians to reform their spending policies?

      That’s more than a firing offense. That’s fighting words.

      It’s possible of course that I am reading too much into this. It’s possible that it’s all just a big coincidence. It’s possible that Obama, the Brat, who has no sensitivities to anyone but himself, just treated Bernanke the way he treats all the menials he is done with.

      But it’s far more likely that central banks finally realize, like the rest of us have, that there is no way one can work with Barack Obama.

      Imagine that: Obama's "the problem." Glad they figured that out.

  18. 5:17 here again. Paul Campos has posted about the WSJ article on Lawyers Guns and Money and TLS. He provides a link but its behind a pay wall. Campos says that Hamline Law School may be the first to go under.

  19. OT - a beautiful chart:

  20. "Law schools across the country are shedding faculty members as enrollment plunges, sending a grim message to an elite group long sheltered from the ups and downs of the broader economy"

    In addition to shedding faculty, are the schools also enrolling people with lower GPA's and LSAT scores as some have speculated they would do?

    Or no?

    1. Go to Law School Transparency and see for yourself. Most non-elite schools have reduced admission standards since 2010 (both LSAT and GPA). At the same time, most of these schools have decreased enrollment - sometimes dramatically so. So you have smaller incomming classes with worse qualifications. Also keep in mind that many of these schools have had to up their scholarship money to keep enrollment from completely falling off a cliff. If these trends continue, as I suspect they will, some of these schools will be forced to shut down.

    2. I think it varies from one school to the next. Some have shed faculty/staff, others have lowered standards, lowered enrollment, cut tuition, upped scholarships, or some combination of the above. I would think that anything other than cutting faculty/staff is going to impact the bottom line adversely. Obviously, lower enrollment, lower tuition, and upped scholarships will do this. Lowering standards will do so in the long run, even though enrollment may remain stable, because lower standards = lower bar passage rates (which are already pathetic at the lower ranked schools) = loss of accreditation.

    3. What they're hoping, and what the ABA might engineer, is a quiet shutting of the most marginal non-URM-heavy, non-political-heavy T3-4 schools.

      If they can close just 5% of the schools, they think they'll be safe.

  21. The exaggerated prestige of being lawyer has been building for decades. It's only over the past five years or so that there's been a serious drive to start dismantling this false prestige. You can't expect to this to happen overnight. And people still fall for far more obvious scams, in huge numbers, year after year.

    And most people, even prospective law students, simply aren't aware of the full extent of the scam. Most of their friends, family and the media all tell them being a lawyer is still a prestigious and potentially lucrative career.

    If information from the handful of mainstream articles or from the scamblog community leaks through to them, they interpret it as merely meaning law school is a bad idea for some people (when truth is would now be a terrible idea for the great majority of people considering it).

    1. The unrestricted availability of federally funded student loans sends the unmistakable message that the product is worth the money loaned. If the bank lends me $1.2 million to buy an old shack, I get the clear message that the shack just be worth that much.

      Loans are feeding much of this problem.

    2. There's that too. People assume that the government will not loan them money they could not afford to repay, or that the colleges will not set their fees higher than the value of their degree. Many people just assume the government and colleges are trustworthy.

      I know little about the complicated system of college loans available. But the main culprit seems to be the PLUS loan system (GradPLUS and ParentPLUS) for graduate schools, introduced in 2006. If there was an increase in law school tuition around then that could be a factor. Unlike Stafford loans, there is no set limit on PLUS loans. The only limit is how much the school chooses to charge. Here's a quote I found on it:

      "The maximum loan amount is the student’s cost of attendance (determined by the school) minus any other financial aid received."

      Emphasis mine. Surely the colleges wouldn't abuse this? Nahhh.... if you can't trust colleges who can you trust, right?

    3. "The maximum loan amount is the student’s cost of attendance (determined by the school) minus any other financial aid received."

      Holy shit! That IS taken straight from their website.

      Isn't this like lab monkey experiments where they make coke available to the lab monkey as a positive reinforcement each time he spins on the wheel? Pretty soon, the monkey's going nuts on the wheel and the wheel's bearings are smoking.

      Doesn't that incentivize the schools to raise their tuition at the expense of (or at best, grossly indifferent to) the hapless people who will have to pay it back? It sounds like it's placing the cart before the horse.

      Maybe this sheds some light on why some older lawyers are clueless about today's situation and say irritating shit about needing to network harder. I sometimes wondered why there was such incredible hostility towards deans and law schools... could Pennoyer v. Neff actually have gotten any more arcane?

      Follow the money.

      Back then, there were loans. But they were limited. Schools were somewhat constrained in what they could charge in tuition because, for most students, the resources were limited. Seems like it was based on income.

      Federal backing has made that all change. Tuition has now reached levels that are insane and out of all proportion to both product value and to the market's history.

      And at the end of the day, it's nondischargeable personal debt... the student personally gets stuck with it.

      And the whole thing is ostensibly done in the name of giving students access to opportunities.

      "Follow the money!" should be the byword of Scamblogging.

    4. 8:37 and 10:06 hit the nail on the head.

      The scary part is that many college-age voters think that easy availability of student loans is a good thing. Any politician trying to cut the availability of limitless student loans is like a parent denying their child a second helping of dessert--it's good for them but they won't be thankful for it.

    5. The true beneficiaries of the loans appear to be -- disproportionately-- private, for-profit law schools. The funds pass through the students' hands and right into the coffers of Law School, Inc.

      I suspect college-age voters don't give the matter much thought and would actually be (strongly) against such loans if the matter was squarely put to them on an up-down vote. They know that too much dessert gets them looking like their Commercial Transactions prof. The level at which these federal policy decisions are made defies voter scrutiny. Politicians piously announce they are in favor of "education" (and education for the less than well-to-do, to boot) and the lenders get what appear to be super-secruitized loans. What's not to like?

      State-run schools historically did better job a keeping costs in line --and in spreading the costs of the school out over the populace-- without any of this loan malarkey.

      As Dean Wormer said in Animal House: "Fat, dumb and Overleveraged is no way to go through life, son."

    6. "The scary part is that many college-age voters think that easy availability of student loans is a good thing."

      this is one of the reasons I think that the voting age should be raised. many 18-twenty something olds are clueless as evidence by the landslide Obama had over Romney in that age group.

    7. "The true beneficiaries of the loans appear to be -- disproportionately-- private, for-profit law schools. The funds pass through the students' hands and right into the coffers of Law School, Inc."

      @8:26, are you talking about PRIVATE law schools? There are very few FOR-PROFIT law schools (any ABA accredited ones?!), and they really aren't part of the picture.

      PUBLIC law schools have been more reasonably priced, mostly because taxpayers subsidize the insane expenses of overpaid faculty and gross waste. Most public college students pay way less than half of what their education costs.

      State schools did NOT "keep spending in line"; it's just that their costs were more hidden, not to mention that they don't pay for the land or buildings. At least for-profit schools DO, and in fact pay taxes too.

      And why are you blaming lenders? Congress cut them out, creating an even worse private-lending sinkhole.

    8. "Doesn't that incentivize the schools to raise their tuition at the expense of (or at best, grossly indifferent to) the hapless people who will have to pay it back? It sounds like it's placing the cart before the horse."

      By Joe, he's got it!

    9. "this is one of the reasons I think that the voting age should be raised. many 18-twenty something olds are clueless as evidence by the landslide Obama had over Romney in that age group."

      Absolutely right. No one under 45 should be able to vote!

      Seriously, even 25 is probably too young. 30 would be fair. Maybe an exception for anyone with military service.

  22. Ok this is getting pathetic. I know it's summer but we have 10 bloggers and can't even get two new posts per week right now?

    Get a grip. The bloggers here need to step up. This is prime "should I go to law school?" season, where many grads could do serious damage to enrolments if they backed out now. Yet we're being given shit about horses and how law school is not a scam?

    This is BS. Write daily posts about how it's not too late to back out. Write daily posts about the scam and the debt and the misery of practicing law. But this artistic crap needs to stop.

    Focus on the basics. End of story.

    1. And what are YOU doing, 1:45?

      Are you a blogger? If so, where's YOUR post?

      If not, STFU comes to mind.

      As to the prime season, you're absolutely right, but if a student can't scroll through a week's worth of posts, well, they deserve to go to law school.

      Besides, what's the issue. There are dozens of posts with literally hundreds of comments, and four books that any half-alive student can read. Our job is to point them in the right direction. If they can't pick it up from there . . . let em go. Honestly, if they're not willing to read the last month's worth of posts here or on the other sites and pay three bucks and read Con Law or any of the other books, are they really worth saving? Maybe I'm going to join the OP and become a shill too. Jesus, is everyone this stupid and lazy?

  23. To get a good insight into what motivates people to apply for law school, toplawschool is often useful. Here's a good recent post:

    " graduated from my undergraduate studies 3 years ago and I currently work for a Fortune 20 company as a financial analyst. For a while I have always wanted to go to law school and become some sort of a business attorney/corporate attorney dealing with restructuring, mergers, etc. ..... "

    So many other posts like this. People in decent jobs who have a fantasy in their heads of what law will be look. Wealth, security and completely non-boring and exciting.

    1. The advice given on the TLS "choosing a law school" forum is usually pretty good - basically steer clear of non-elite schools unless you are getting a free ride. As a practical matter, TLS probably reaches a lot more prospective law students than the scam blogs. Its also worth checking out the desperation stories in the "veil of tears" forum. Its a crystal ball where 0L's can see their future.

    2. The problem with TLS is that it is THE pro-law school site. Mr. Infinity, squared.