Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Scam Is Alive In the Great White North

At region’s law schools, a struggle to get students by C. Ho (Washington Post)
Money Quote: “Things are tougher for us. There’s a pain cascade that can be discerned where I live, that my rich competitors only have to read about.” 

A law degree with added value (that can’t be taught) by C. Albinati (Canadian Lawyering)
Money Quote: "Before a single law student walked through the doors, the university’s administration and the Government of British Columbia had agreed that TRU’s JD program would be a cost-recovery program."

Law schools: Third year is too crucial to lose by R. Aker (Minnesota Daily)
Money Quote: “I would feel woefully unprepared to enter the job market with only two years of law school.”


  1. "Third-year University law student [Waterhead] Morwenna Borden said she recognizes the appeal of students saving on tuition but believes a two-year system would be a “pretty terrible idea.”

    She said the third year is essential for students to figure out what area of law they want to specialize in.

    “I would feel woefully unprepared to enter the job market with only two years of law school,” she said."

    Yes, because law students are thoroughly prepared to practice law after the third year, right?!?!

    1. You will better prepared to enter the practice of law if you have had the great fortune of having clerking positions during the summers and even better, during the academic year. Since these clerkship positions are few, the only experience most job candidates now have is some sort of clinic experience in no way is a substitute for working in a real law office with real law practice pressures.

      Note that the student says that she needs the third year in order to determine what type of law to specialize in. First of all, for 90% of the law students, going to law school is an absolutely horrible idea if you don't have any idea of what you want to practice. Secondly, since 75% of the law graduates who are employed are working in 2-10 attorney firms, they are engaged in general civil practice. No further classes are needed after the second year.

    2. To expand on your points, the idea that the vast majority of law graduates can actually pick their legal career path, from an array of options, is laughable. When I read of fossil attorneys and "professors" who exhort new JDs to forsake Biglaw jobs and represent "real people" I have to laugh, because very few of them ever have such a choice.

      Most new JDs will be lucky to get any job at all as an attorney, so whatever they decide to practice will be the practice field of the employer who decides to hire them (if any). If they decide to "hang out a shingle" (see my comment below) the large majority will not be competent to handle most legal matters just out of law school, setting the stage for bar complaints, malpractice suits, etc.

    3. unprepared after 2 years = unprepared after 3 years

      A JD program is often a refuge for the unprepared. And without a job at graduation, you continue to be unprepared. And you can't decide on some concentration to guarantee a job, because there are so few jobs in any area.

  2. The comments after that first article are priceless and very telling. I don't think I saw one comment in favor of going to law school. So many lives destroyed by the decision to go to law school...

    1. You bet, and in DC more than anywhere. So many activists, so few paying jobs...

  3. Except for comments by a clueless and naïve 3L law student "ineptitudinality". This guy could be a clever troll but he seems to be real.

    "Go hang up a shingle in small town and start your own practice. You will live comfortably and have gainful employment..."
    "the degree is applicable across a broad spectrum of jobs..."
    "You're effectively investing about 180K in yourself and the idea that it will pay off in the long run..."
    "I would much prefer putting that money into my own faculties, relying on myself, as opposed to investing in the stock market..."

    How many people lining up for law school still believe this? All the law schools have to do is find 50k or so such clueless suckers nationwide to keep the scam running.

    1. I think that guy was a troll, or else he OD'd on the Kool Aid. His remarks sounded like canned recordings of all the clichés that law school deans and admins use in an attempt to prop up the idea of going to law school.

      If I hear one more person suggest that new JD's should "hang out a shingle" I think I will puke. Even if one can make a go of private practice (it takes a certain type of personality and skill set to make the business end of it work), where is a newly minted, broke JD--who has to pay for rent, groceries, etc in addition to servicing six figure debt--going to get the money to start up a practice and pay the bills until steady work comes in? Some of them are lucky enough to have parents or a spouse/partner willing to support them during this time, but what about those who are on their own?

  4. The Canadian guy in the 2nd story looks like he is planning to practice Hipster Law.

    Poor guy has been taken for a ride at a Canuckistani TTT, but there's good news. Annual tuition is dirt cheap -- $9500 CND according to their site.

    This guy will either be able to retool for another industry or survive as a low-paid lawyer.

    US law schools should be that cheap!!!! And his article even says that the state government withdrew funding. The fact that they can still keep tuition so low in those circumstances tells us about what a law school should cost.
    (21k full cost of attending, including living:

    1. Yeah, he is putting a brave face on a terrible situation. The fact that the school describes itself as a "cost-recovery" program, while honest, goes to show the true intent of the ScamDeans and administration.

      The sad fact is they all got taken for a ride, and No One Cares about the hard work and determination the TRU grads had to go through. Jobs will be bequeathed via preftige, and TRU grads will have to hustle just like all non-connected tioleteers.

  5. So George Mason attendance is down 50%, with no rebound this year?


    I can't wait for the same thing to happen to American U...

  6. Great research on this one, MA. I think we're having an undefeated season!!

  7. Paul Campos' blog post on enrollment decline at University of Iowa Law School:

    1. Yes, another concise and informative post by Campos at his other site.

      Key points on the Iowa episode:

      New attendees at Iowa are down about 60% versus 6 years ago;
      Iowa has NOT reduced GPA and test requirements;
      Iowa has quite a few high-paid dinosaurs on staff;
      Iowa is certain to be running a huge deficit.

      And Campos anticipates wirting a series of such reports. Good times.

  8. I took time to read the Canadian commentary in its entirety. Imagine the sheer incompetence of Indiana Tech combined with "tens of thousands" in student debt. This TRU is the worst scam outbreak that Canada has seen so far.

    I've got to say, though, that this kid has no idea just how vicious "cost recapture" can be. I doubt if he's graduating with even $100,000 in debt.
    By American standards, he got something of a bargain.