Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Christo Lassiter and Sharlene Boltz have had a divorce more protracted than most. Their marriage commenced in 1986 and ended in 1996. Since then, they have each used the court system as their personal attack dog. The divorce case now exceeds 1400 docket entries, with two lawsuits remaining to be decided.

Our concern however, is with law school and its diminishing value to students and society. To that end, let's see whether they were able to keep their end of the bargain as law professors: producing "scholarship" and teaching. Both of these fine individuals became law professors in 1991.

Christo Lassiter:
His complete index of publications can be found here. Since 1991, Mr. Lassiter created 10 articles and gave 4 presentations. Make note, however, that after 2000, all he has done in the way of "scholarship" is publishing two articles in 2007.

Does he make it up with an increased teaching load? To some extent. He teaches the following courses:
  • Antitrust
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure I
  • Criminal Procedure II
  • White Collar Crime
Of these five, my experience indicates that the only courses that are taught with any regularity are Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure. Antitrust and White Collar Crime are likely seminar courses offered when Mr. Lassiter feels like it.

I'm using Brian Tamanaha's estimate that a single class takes 5 hours per week of a professor's time during the semester.

So, Mr. Lassiter is probably working 10 hours, maximum 20, per week regularly.

Sharlene Boltz:
Ms. Boltz's body of "scholarship" is short enough that I can list it as follows:

I HAVE A TESTIMONY, WinePress Publ'g (2002)
From Hoof To Hamburger: The fiction of a safe meat supply, 33 Willamette L. Rev. 411 (1997)
Hein   LexisNexis   Westlaw
What Is A Lawyer Really Worth? An examination into the true value of attorney labor, 25 Cumb. L. Rev. 23 (1994)
Hein   LexisNexis

Notice that she hasn't produced any scholarship since 2002, and only three articles since 1994.

Does her teaching load make up for it? She teaches the following courses.  
  • Contracts I
  • Contracts II
  • Domestic Violence Prosecution & Trial
  • Domestic Violence Seminar
  • Introduction to Legal Studies
  • UCC: Payment Systems
  • UCC: Sales & Secured Transactions
Well, she's a little more of a hard worker in the classroom than her ex. I'm assuming that she teaches Contracts, the UCC classes, and Introduction to Legal Studies regularly. The Domestic Violence courses are probably seminars.

Again using Tamanaha's estimate, she's working 15 hours, maximum 20, in the semesters she teaches three courses. Otherwise, she's working as much as Mr. Lassiter.

Finally, here are the costs to attend each school for three years, courtesy of Law School Transparency:
University of Cincinnati: For non residents, $213,606; for residents: $150,797
Northern Kentucky: For non residents: $185,919; for residents: $118,379

So, these two role models for budding legal minds have spent parts of three decades attacking each other in court, while being paid handsomely to work part time. I have been an attorney on divorce cases, and know how time intensive they are. So, while their students take on astronomical amounts of debt at each of these mediocre schools, these two see fit to spend the majority of their time over the last seventeen years on a divorce proceeding that has now outlasted the original marriage by seven years. How much lower could tuition have been at their respective schools if these two wastes of space actually held up their end of the bargain instead of treating their law professor careers as a way to fund their personal animus against each other? Honestly, I'd be less angry if they had students drafting all the motions, because then at least a few of them would be somewhat practice ready.

At this point, reading about law schools is like reading about third world countries where all the money is pocketed by government officials while the citizens starve.

Note: I made some minor grammatical edits to this post after it went up.


  1. I enjoy these write ups about shitty lawprofs. It really highlights the nonsense of what it means to be elite.

  2. You can't have a famine without decent scotch.

  3. I agree they are wasting time and court resources, but there is a dual standard in the article (if the author contends as most other scambloggers). The article says how few scholarly articles they have written over all those years; yet, most scambloggers (and I) contend those articles are mostly never read and useless. So, why criticize them for spending little time wasting a lot of time?

    1. I used that standard because that is the standard that law profs ask to be judged upon and how they feel they add value.

      I agree that most law scholarship is worthless mental masturbation.

  4. Good to know that students (and/or the taxpayers) pay tuition so that people like Prof. Boltz can write articles like, "From Hoof To Hamburger."

    Even if these articles are useful to someone (highly unlikely), it's definitely not the students. Why should students and taxpayers pay for law profs to write articles that have no bearing on the students' educations??

  5. "At this point, reading about law schools is like reading about third world countries where all the money is pocketed by government officials while the citizens starve."

    Or 17th century France where Louis XIV's parasite nobles lived lives of luxury on the backs of the peasants.

  6. Reinforcing the point you've made:

    From the comments:

    "Brian’s research is confirming, quantitatively, the corrupt aspects of higher education that you have been shining a light on. It bears repeating that these figures are inflation-adjusted. The increase in gross tuition figure is crippling our entire society."

  7. You hit the nail on the head. There are professors at most law schools who have published nothing or very little since they got tenure. They are making huge salaries because they are scholars but they do no scholarship. Someone should expose each and everyone of these clowns.

    I checked them out on rate my profs. Boltz has a 1.7 rating. A rock could get a better rating. Lassiter is better 3.1.

  8. I wonder if either of them has gotten a "sabbatical" e.g. paid vacation during this time to (not) come up with stupid writings.

    What a sweet gig where you can get months off from work, and still collect a paycheck. I guess the idea is the professors deserve to take a "break" from that stressful 10-20 hour a week job.

  9. If scholarship is so important, then why haven't law schools fired these bottom feeders? Law schools can fire tenured professors for cause. Sitting on your butt doing nothing is cause.

    1. Nope. Firing a law prof for laziness would probably lead to an ABA complaint.

  10. You should have a post that allows your readers to "out" the bottom feeders at their law schools in the comments.

  11. As a general rule, your divorce litigation should not last longer than your marriage, especially if both spouses are trained, educated income earners.

    But of course, law profs have no appreciation of parsimony or the value of time.

  12. Nice research. Even back in the early 2000s, it was clear that professors at my school were resting on the laurels of their 1980s era article - yes, singular, the one that got them tenure.

    After which, publishing is something that only junior faculty need bother with.

    This needs to be a continuing series. There's hardly a shortage of subjects.

    (BTW, sorry for pushing this post down with my brief news alert).

  13. By the way, both of these toilets are located in particularly difficult places to actually generate clients as a newly-minted Toileteer: northern Kentucky and southern Ohio. Kentucky is basically the meth capital of the US and Ohio is pure rust belt. Neither of these states is where you want to be as a lawyer if you are at all interested in paying off a massive LS debt.
    I knew a gal who got into the Chase "something something" toilet in northern Kentucky- she was actually proud (!) of her 150 LSAT. She was pure trailer trash. Although that might help her empathize with her clients....

  14. Law Professorsmare the scum of the Earth. I especially cringe when I see a grown man wearing a bow tie like some of the law professors wear with their dress shirt. I have tremendous respect for practicing attorneys who work their assess off, but law professors are arrogant losers. I love how on every law school web-site the law professors brag about their stupid achievements. My question is, if being a law professor is such a hard job requiring lots of preparation, why do they have so much time for their pet projects? I read a profile of a faculty member who said in her bio that she wrote a book of poetry! People who have REAL jobs are too tired to be writing books of poetry after a grind at the office or courtroom! The system is rigged.

  15. By the way, I suggest that the Norman A. Wiggins School of Law change their name to the Wiggler School of Law because it would shorten the law school's name and reflect the fact that it is a joke of a law school. Wiggler is the caterpillar from Super Mario Brothers who has a flower on his head and when you pounce on him, he turns red and goes ballistic.

    1. You should post on your blog. I'd be curious to read about accountants having a hard time getting work. It might be good for those of us who believe degrees like accounting are the way out of the service industry grind.

    2. Yes, accounting and law are similar in many ways but they also have key differences. I graduated from college with quite good grades and passed the CPA exam. I even earned a Master's of Science in Taxation degree which from what I gather is similar to your LLM degree in Taxation. I only landed one true job interview after college and it has been four years since my passing of the CPA exam. I have yet to be employed within the accounting field. I kmow it is not because I am stupid or lazy. The problem is if you do not attend a presitgious university where Big Accounting recruits new students then you are truly, unequivocally up shit creek without a paddle. One must have tangible work experience to receive the CPA license but I do not have such experience because I did not land a gig at an accounting firm.

      Small and medium-sized accounting firms like law firms of equivalent size, do not want to hire new graduates because the risk of the inexperienced new hire failing can damage the firm's reputation with established clients or it can lead to significant financial loss. I completely sympathize and understand this position that is held by small to medium-sized accounting firm (or law firm) that operate within a highly competitive environment where mistakes must be completely avoided.

      If a small to medium-sized accounting (or law firm) makes the decision to hire it must be a candidate with a strong reputation, demonstrated work experience and a book of business. Firms of this size need to hire the best they can with the limited resources they have at their disposal.

      The only way a new graduate in accounting can get hired is if it is at BigAcc like KMPG, PriceWaterouse Coopers, Ernst and Young and Deloitte because those firms can bear the risk of new hires and their large audits require large staffs where the work is less concentrated in the hands of a new untested hire. On the contrary, the small to medium-sized accounting firm does smaller assignments where a new hire will handle more responsibility and their individual work will be more heavily scrutinized.

      I am certain some but not all of the issues I outlined above can be applied to law. But from what I gather there are some highly significant issues that law graduates face that are different from my experience in the accounting job search.

      Now, I work in aviation at a not so good job, completely unrelated to accounting and paying off my massive student loan debt which resulted from attendance of a private Catholic college and the earning of a Master's degree. Not to mention the CPA exam set me back a few thousands bucks. My wonderful Catholic alma mater constantly solicits me for donations and Never once have they inquired about how my job search has been going since my graduation. The rotten stinking administrators, career service hags and professors do NOT give one damn about you. Like law graduates, I have been played like Bubba's prison cell mate who has to wash Bubba's underwear or receive a massive beating.