Friday, August 23, 2013

Rising Bar Tabs and An End To Tenure?

Rising bar tab draining law school grads
Money Quote: "How would you feel if you spent well over $100,000 on law school, only to have to spend an extra couple of thousand dollars on a course to get you to pass the bar?"

Cooley Law School weathering decline in enrollment
Money Quote: “We set aside a fair amount of money to weather what we thought the storm would be. Our only concern is how long this lasts.”

An end to tenure at law schools?
Money Quote:  “The demand for legal education ebbs and flows. Sometimes we get more customers, sometimes less ... As a manager with a budget, I want the ability to respond.”

Two Law School Administrators Disciplined For Fudging Job Numbers
Money Quote: "Some administrators likely will view Pless and Sargent as isolated cases. Others might see the disciplinary actions as ground  to increase oversight of the reporting process..."


  1. Kind of interesting that one of these stories was from CNBC, and another from the business section of the Washington Post.

  2. The discipline actually frustrates me. Sargent resigned for other reasons four (4) years ago and Pless is (apparently) peddling versatile real estate ("You can do anything with Glenn Ross Farms!").

    Where are the sanctions against the current crop of Brooks Brothers pimps? Where are the verbal warnings to stop lying? Why can't state bars/ABA actually police what's going on today? The Massachusetts Bar has better targets right now.

  3. "Our only concern is how long this lasts."

    The pigs at TTTThoma$ M. Cooley Law Sewer obviously don't give a damn about the students' outcomes. Nice roundup of news articles. Notice how the "professors" and administrators never mention working their asses off - as if these rats know what "work" entails - to make sure their students have jobs when they graduate.

    In the past, the swine would at least feign concern for their students. Now, they have essentially given up on that pretense.

  4. Bravo for the discipline. At least that is some modicum of justice, given the complete lack of concern over abject fraud in other venues.

    Two cockroaches in the light, though, mean that there are many, many more still hiding in the dark. There is more to do.

  5. The bar review article was pretty interesting, though it had too many weasel words (e.g. the job market "has never been more competitive" or is "mixed" instead of just saying the job market truly sucks). The fact that one student was shocked by the expense just goes to show how little research people do on such topics before taking the plunge. Why was that kid surprised at this expense?

    I started law school in the late 90's and paid for the BarBri course as a 1L. It was about 800$ at the time and we were all told it was only going to get more expensive, so we were encouraged to enroll as soon as possible. Sure enough, my 2nd year it went up to like $1200. And clearly has skyrocketed since then.

    One friend and classmate didn't enroll in the bar review course. He found out where the local BarBri rep's office was and went dumpster diving there a few months before the bar, just after enrollment had closed and the review materials were sent out. He found complete sets of the bar review materials in the dumpster--extras that had been thrown away. He did pass the bar BTW. Not sure what he is doing now but I have a feeling he is doing OK for himself.

    1. Yes, skyrocketing prices and you don't even pay live professors anymore -- just videos of classes you already took during 1L. Always another scam.

  6. Here is an excellent article from the Chicago Tribune, regarding the scandal at the University of Illinois:

    The article provides an interesting quote from Heidi Hurd, former Dean of the University of Illinois School of Law, current professor of law, and Ph.D in moral philosophy. Hurd emailed the following to Pless in 2010:

    "Unbelievably impressive stats for this year's class. Unbelievably fabulous...It's a great gift to the school and to us, as faculty. And it's all YOU … YOU are the reason this school will rise in the rankings, rise in national esteem, and rise on the merits beyond all other reasons."

    I am glad that Pless received bar discipline. But it is so clear that he was a young and insecure dude, egged on by his powerful bosses. (Pless to Law Dean Bruce P. Smith: "I haven't let a Dean down yet, I don't plan on starting with you Boss.")

    These deans coldly maintained their plausible deniability, and suffered no professional consequences, unlike Pless. The deans maintained "an intense culture...focused on improving the academic credentials of the incoming classes in part as a means to improving the already well-regarded school's ranking." They heaped praise and raises on Pless. They made "one person [Pless] be responsible for computing and verifying the information." Pless's numbers were never checked for accuracy, even though Dean Bruce Smith told Pless that the goals he achieved were remarking "frankly, thought to be unattainable."

    To me, the kicker is where Dean Bruce Smith stated, afterwards, that Pless's conduct was "frankly unthinkable." Yes, every bit as shocking and unthinkable as the gambling going on at Rick's Casino in Casablanca.

    1. While Pless doesn't deserve "Man of the Year" or anything, it cerainly reveals the vile machinations of the Dean and the Administration. The players at the top move the pieces, reward "good behavior", but let the pieces take the fall when the jig is up.

      But, given the sociopolitical climate at issue, I guess we should not be surprised. Funny thing is that mobsters probably have more professional integrity than these guys.

  7. The Cooley Model.

    "LeDuc believes this a cyclical downturn. He said the effects of a bad economy have been 'exacerbated by the stuff on the Internet.'

    His prediction: The economy will improve. Government agencies will start hiring lawyers again. The older generation of lawyers will retire. Students graduating in three or four years will find a much more welcoming job market."


    "'Our model has basically been ... fables,' LeDuc said."

  8. This 62% stat cna't be accurate, right? Must be among those who had jobs?

    "And it is not like there is much choice. Sixty-two percent of law graduates from the class of 2012 headed to positions where passing the bar was a mandatory requirement, according to the American Bar Association. Last year, 82,920 people took bar exams in the U.S., up 14 percent since 1995."

    1. Keep in mind, that includes lots of solos.

    2. A shame that stats like that creep into even good articles.

      Subtract the solos. Subtract the part-timers. Subtract the short-term jobs (which means under one year's duration, so clerkships and fellowships still count). Subtract the school-funded "jobs."

      For the Class of 2011, the result is 51.5%
      For the Class of 2012, the result is 53.1%

      And even those numbers are deceptive because they include the T14, whose grads have a 75% or better chance to snag a bar-required full-time job.

  9. Advice to 0-L's.