Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Get Yer LLMs While They're Hot!

Believe it or not, I'm really not trying to pick on anybody in particular. But "I get mail," and when I do it's hard not to respond to it.

We've discussed the not-so-value of LLMs and LLM look-a-likes before. In theory, they could provide some additional training and insight into a heretofore-unexamined area of law. Practically, the marketplace does not respond favorably to those who incurred the expense of yet-another degree, unless the student had their success in-tow prior to enrollment. And, of course, these LLMs ain't free, you know.

However, this does not prevent the powers-that-be from trying to convince desperate, once-bitten, twice-shy law graduates from regressing back to lemming-dom and accepting the logical leap between "if you buy X from us, then you will receive Y from the universe at-large" mode of thinking, as seen below:

Sounds like prosperity theology to me, with a hunk of "Act Now! Supplies are going fast!" thrown in. Come, lay your additional sacrifice of time and treasure at this altar, which didn't work too well before, of course, but hey, who's keeping score anyway? Get prepared for "practice-ready", "advantaged", "marketability" with improved "earnings" and "promotions." There are eight, count 'em, eight different LLMs! It's a veritable Baskin-Robbins of legal-flavored goodness! Do them online, in the comfort and convenience of your own home! CBA members get 20% off, doncha know.  Heck, other loser law schools only offer three or four LLMs...we've got eight!  The most in Chicago!

Just be sure to thank JMLS with a sizable donation check when that Estate Planning LLM rockets you into the stratosphere of legal success. I suspect, though, that YMMV. I don't know of that many Boomers with "estates" that need serious planning in this economic environment, let alone Gen-Xers, but who cares!?! I don't run in the "right" circles, clearly. As the right circles tend to be the domain of the LawProf, maybe that explains the difference in perspective.

Friends, the facade is cracking. It just isn't about what people say it's about, and that is both frustrating and fear-inducing to the law schools. They have always been dependent on a fresh supply of students, but that low-hanging fruit has already been picked. The Truffula Trees have all been chopped down, to use a classic Dr. Seuss reference, and now the Once-lers are all scratching their heads wondering what to do next. Clearly, planting new trees was out of the question. Now, almost nobody wants a new Thneed, nor could they afford one at the asking price, or the "discounted" price. It's done.

Zerohedge says it best, as this has more to do than just with LLMs and Law School:

In this economic environment, it doesn't matter how smart, how educated or how experienced you are. If you are out of work, it can be extremely difficult to find a new job. Just consider the case of Abe Gorelick...

Abe Gorelick has decades of marketing experience, an extensive contact list, an Ivy League undergraduate degree, a master’s in business from the University of Chicago, ideas about how to reach consumers young and old, experience working with businesses from start-ups to huge financial firms and an upbeat, effervescent way about him. What he does not have — and has not had for the last year — is a full-time job.
Five years since the recession ended, it is a story still shared by millions. Mr. Gorelick, 57, lost his position at a large marketing firm last March. As he searched, taking on freelance and consulting work, his family’s finances slowly frayed. He is now working three jobs, driving a cab and picking up shifts at Lord & Taylor and Whole Foods.

So what does Abe need in order to find a decent job?

More education?
More experience?
No, what he needs is an economy that produces good jobs.


Clearly, people like Gorelick just need to "work harder" and "network." 

0Ls, non-trads, please: turn back before its too late. There are no easy solutions, but there are some easy answers: avoid law school.


  1. I know a poor deluded fool who got a LLM from this Toilet. He thought (in '09) that getting a specialization in IP would help him get a job. Instead it just got him deeper in debt.

    I think John Marshall is probably the worst Toilet around Chicago. I used to attend CLE events there and it was always an eye-opener. There were several easily distinguishable types in attendance: (1) hordes of desperate looking law students, (2) unemployed lawyers passing around business cards and (3), working attorneys.
    There would usually be a few types who had obviously studied the CLE material in great depth and asked questions of the presenters in an effort to increase their visibility. You could tell all these types from about 50 feet away and the desperate types always outnumbered the unemployed by about 5 to 1.

    I am a Duped Non Traditional myself and I would often see fellow Duped Non Traditionals in attendance. By this time we had more or less given up on finding legal work and were looking for cheap CLE. We'd share leads and pretend we were hustlers, but we were so isolated from the centers of power in the Chicago job market that it was useless to pretend much.

    Going to one of these events shoul be mandatory for all Lemmings. Maybe the smell of fear and desperation would put some sense into them, the way pigs instinctively fear the slaughterhouse.

  2. Washington Unifarcity in St Louis recently sent me a similar solicitation for its $50k-per-year LLMs. The dean either could not or would not answer direct questions about the utility of these costly degrees to someone looking for work as a lawyer.

    As another duped non-traditional, I can say that one thing that Mr. Gorelick needs is about thirty fewer rings around his trunk. His age would pose a formidable obstacle even if there were decent jobs to be found. More than a decade his junior, I cannot find work either.

  3. How is the fact that they offer the most LLM's relevant? Are they implying that, by doing lots of LLM's, they somehow make their LLM's better? Toyota is a much bigger car company than, say, Lamborghini or Ferrari, but you don't see people salivating over the prospect of driving a Corolla.