Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Accepting last minute applications!: Creighton University School of Law helps dismantle society's barrier to legal education for impulse buyers.

Retailers are known to make small fortunes off of impulse buying-- those unplanned purchases made in a moment of irrationality or self-gratification. It is good to know that there is a law school analog-- the last-minute application. What did law schools ever see in those application deadlines that expire months in advance of the start of classes-- deadlines that give potential lemmings ample time to weigh the cons of attendance against the pros, and that cruelly exclude the neglected demographic of the impulse buyer?   

Take Creighton University School of Law in Omaha, Nebrasksa. Only 53.6% of its Class of 2013 law grads obtained full-time non-solo bar-required jobs, nine-months-out.  Tuition is a hefty $34,000 per year, not counting about $1500 more in fees. Law School Transparency estimates that the debt-financed cost of a Creighton JD (based on non-discounted tuition) at $194,754. US News ranks Creighton 115th out of the 200 accredited law schools. But those are just numbers and, as Creighton Law School's website explains: "At Creighton University School of Law. . . we'll never be reduced to our numbers." Still, it is impulse buyers who are less likely to consider the import of these statistics. Perhaps that is why Creighton Law sends emails like the one below, provided to OTLSS by a correspondent, in which the admissions coordinator shares the good news that the school is still accepting applications a mere 10 days before the start of 1L orientation. 


43 comments:

  1. CreighTTTon Univer$iTTTy Sewer of Law is a certified trash pit. They have no shame.

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    1. How many toilets do you have left to flush, Nando?

      Will the Holy Trinity of Yale, Harvard, and Stanford get the TTR treatment?

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    2. Creighton's also the turd that has a 'distance pharmacy program.' Give me a break! At least a traditional ed required one to physically attend, creating a bottleneck to degree value destruction...

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    3. They don't realize, or perhaps don't care, that the more they overproduce their certifiably gullible graduates, the more legal employers will flee to the relative quality of the Top 17 and major state schools.

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  2. It's never too late to follow one's dreams and become the next Atticus Finch!

    Here's to Atticus Finch! I am sure he would be proud of all those last minute Creighton admittees who aren't going to let such small details such as filling out a law school application or dream-killing employment numbers get in the way of their all-star, all-important attorney dreams. Go, Creighton admittees, go! And dream the impossible dream...

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  3. If it's too inconvenient for you to apply before then, just bring your application with you on orientation day and get admitted on the spot.

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    1. If you qualify for student loans, I could see that actually happening. I suspect many, many law schools are feeling desperate right now.

      Going to law school is an amazing opportunity, right?

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  4. You guys miss the mark to some degree. I've been practicing law for a very long time. Its not the dismal employment statistics or even the debt that compels me to recommend against attending law school. Its the fact there are so many Sociopaths in the profession. This profession is simply filled with terrible people and it is all about money. I don't know if people come into this profession already being soulless, or they become soulless in order to survive . . . but this is a profession that does shocking things in the name of zealous representation and with the goal of winning. Think of the exploitation of associates and even partners throughout the land. Think of the typical insurance defense attorney whose job it is to deprive the sole wage earner in a family for receiving reasonable worker's comp benefits, disability benefits, or personal injury award benefits. Think of the prosecutor who does not concern himself with truth, or the criminal defense attorney who manipulates to try to get his guilty defendant off. What's worse is there are a huge number of people who make money from the scam of the US justice system. Think of the expert witnesses whose opinions are bought and paid for every day of the week for large amounts of money. There is no such thing as Justice in our society. Its all a matter of who is better at manipulating, or how much money can be spent to manipulate the system to get the desired results. For anybody who wants to enjoy their life and not live every day seeing the worst that society and humanity has to offer, who doesn't want to live in a world where the only thing that matters is winning and money, I say stay out of the law.

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  5. I think you're right that the practice of law tends to be somewhat cruel. Take the outside attorneys I work with, for instance. I work for a large corporate client and they depend on me for their wages.

    Occasionally, just for fun, I'll read over some of their work at the last minute and have them make substantial changes. They might have put in a lot of time working on a brief, but I'll double the time they spend! Since they operate largely on a fixed-fee arrangement, they can't really make their nut, leading to lots of extra time. I think in a given week I'm responsible for at least 8 weekend hours that some young associate has to spend at the office.

    And when I don't like the quality of an associates' work, a quick word to the relationship partner guarantees boot-scraping levels of fawning from said associate. Hell, I've gotten three associates booted from their firms for what I deemed to be shoddy work. And I'm working on a fourth, a technical advisor with a PhD. I give him 3 more months, max.

    Life's a bitch. They signed up for this. It's so much fun to hear the hesitation in their voices as I tell them how disappointed I am in their work and tell them to come back with another approach. :-)
    Over time, you can hear the depression creeping into their voices as I break them down. Then one day they're gone and it's another eager young associate for me to "break in."
    :-))))

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    1. You seem quite pleased with yourself. Tell us, were any of these these complaints and corrections justified? Or were all of them "just for fun?"

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    2. You seem quite pleased with yourself. Tell us, were any of these complaints and corrections justified? Or were they all "just for fun?"

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    3. Well, it depends. It depends on what I had for lunch that day, what their attitude was in the conference call. Was it properly subservient? I don't know.
      The ambiguity of their situation is the hardest part for them. Will they get more business from me? Have they made the proper impression on their partner?


      Lest you think I'm joking, I'm not.
      I do this every day to young associates. They're so naive. So bright, and at the same time so naive!

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    4. @ Anonymous August 12, 2014 at 11:16 AM

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDYGruXG2wY

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    5. We all die. You think I'm affected by your impotent threat? That I'm scared of an imaginary god?

      You take what you can in this life 'cause that's all there is Bucky. You eat or get eaten, and the sooner you realize it the better for you.

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    6. Thor's mighty hammer is not imaginary, dude. It definitely keeps the process servers away.

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    7. Hey 11:16, I know you! You're the guy at Creighton Law Review that did an R&R on my article. How's it goin, man?

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    8. If 11:16 is serious, he proves what I said. The profession is filled with sociopaths and the mentally ill. 11:16 is far from a unique personality in the law. He is a good example of the evil that lurks therein. These are the same type of people who thrived as part of the gestapo...baby killers. There are lots of these types out there in the legal field. Stay away from this profession, associate with decent and good people. Be happy and healthy, that should be your goal.

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  6. ^^^^ I assume you are kidding, but as I understand it, lots of the people who work for large corporations and dole out the work act exactly in that manner. They have no concerns or considerations for time or careers of the lawyers they hire. Thankfully when I was an associate, our corporate clients treated me very well . . . but I have read how its not always that way.

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    1. Why should they have any concerns about the lawyers? They have no respect for themselves. They take on soul crushing debt for low paying jobs and don't have the backbone to protest loudly.

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    2. It wouldn't hurt for lawyers to form a union--and I don't mean the National Lawyers Guild--for bargaining purposes. It would probably do pretty well in New York, DC, Boston, Chicago, LA, and San Fran, given the political climate in those cities.

      If there were strikes, I wouldn't blame new law grads for wanting to cross the picket lines, but in that case we'd see just how dispensable the experienced associates really are.

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  7. What I can't understand is WHY DOES THE ABA TOLERATE THIS ??

    Do they not realize the devaluation of the JD degree means a loss of power and prestige for them, as well as the whole legal community.

    I realize the Justice Department pressed the ABA few years ago, but this has been taken too far. The ABA will be perfectly justified to intervene and compel schools to maintain some standards, especially given all that has been documented about job prospects and supply of lawyers. The Justice Department will have no case.

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    1. "WHY DOES THE ABA TOLERATE THIS ??"

      What did you say? You'll have to speak up; I can't hear you over the bells of 200-odd cash registers.

      Old Guy

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    2. "What I can't understand is WHY DOES THE ABA TOLERATE THIS ??

      Do they not realize the devaluation of the JD degree means a loss of power and prestige for them, as well as the whole legal community. "

      Remember, the ABA is probably run by two sets of people - senior partners in medium to large firms, and (for the education part) law schools.

      The second group doesn't mind what happens to grads, so long as their checks from the Fed clear the bank.

      The first group *hires lawyers*. Think of a senior engineer at a corporation. He is no longer an engineer, but a manager of engineers. He wants cheaper engineers, because that means more money goes to management (and maybe even shareholders).

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    3. Follow-up - this is why I think that legal outsourcing[1] and offshoring will come about very swiftly, because the people governing the profession benefit from it.

      [1] In two ways - using contract attorneys, and using non-attorneys to do legal work.

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    4. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has an office that runs the food stamp program and down the hall another office that designs signs for the National Forest system that say: "Please do not feed the animals because if you do the animals will not learn how to provide for themselves."

      The USDOJ forced the ABA to accredit joke law schools in order to protect competition in entry to the legal profession, but another part of the executive branch floods the market by giving huge loans to hopelessly uncreditworthy individuals. Get the gubmint out of both ends and the situation would straighten out soon enough.

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    5. "Do they not realize the devaluation of the JD degree means a loss of power and prestige for them, as well as the whole legal community. "

      They don't care. They already think very highly of themselves, and don't really care about those "beneath" them. They have their prestige. The hell with anybody else. Do you think a Federal Judge is going to have less of an ego because of all of the dummies allowed into the profession?

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    6. I understand the money incentive for individual law schools. Clearly they have a reason to fill-up their seats: greed.

      However, the ABA is representative of the whole profession, not just law schools. And the more JDs floating around out there, the less valuable these JD degrees become, especially given the inability of law school graduates to find work.

      So why devalue the worth of law school graduates? How is this protecting the profession?

      By contrast, the AMA has been lobbying for years to insure that only doctors can prescribe certain drugs, and they've kept tight restrictions on FMGs (foreign medical graduates) from flooding the US market. This has protected the lower caliber doctors (aka ... most primary care physicians) so that they can make a decent wage. And contrary to popular opinion, most doctors do fairly mundane work and are dependent on medicare and/or medicaid for their income.

      On the other hand, the ABA has not been so helpful to lawyers, which makes me suspect either some profound hubris or possibly bribes.

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    7. 10:17, you're spot on. To borrow a phrase from JDUnderground: "To ask the question is to answer it."

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    8. The devaluation of the JD degree actually means greater power and prestige, at least within law schools, for those who possess both a JD and a PhD. As an example of this, I would cite Professor Brian Leiter. He has a powerful emotional incentive to make every effort to overproduce mere JD's. That it actually harms 98% of his students shouldn't matter in the least.

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    9. @6:04 -- the PhD seems rather irrelevant here.

      Whether you're a law professor with just a JD, a JD/LLM or a JD/PhD doesn't seem to make much difference. You're still a law professor who is invested in defrauding young 20-somethings of their money, so that you (the greedy law professor) can continue to make a huge salary while performing minimal work.

      As for the PhD itself, that's another useless degree to have. Most PhDs make tiny salaries, and they have the same trouble we lawyers have in finding work. Even PhDs in sciences offer dismal employment prospects for a vast majority of those who hold the degree. The only advantage to the PhD is that it costs less to obtain, although it takes more time.

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    10. Larry The Cable GuyAugust 14, 2014 at 7:16 PM

      "the ABA is representative of the whole profession, not just law schools. "

      Now that's funny right there, yeah; I don't care who y'are!

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    11. Anonymous:

      "The devaluation of the JD degree actually means greater power and prestige, at least within law schools, for those who possess both a JD and a PhD. As an example of this, I would cite Professor Brian Leiter. He has a powerful emotional incentive to make every effort to overproduce mere JD's. That it actually harms 98% of his students shouldn't matter in the least."

      At the very top (like Chicago), probably not. And Leiter strikes me as the sort of person who doesn't care, in general.

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  8. Part of this may reflect the new methodology for how schools have to calculate their U.S. News numbers. From what I hear, the U.S. News GPA and LSAT numbers methodology was recently changed, so that it is now determined as of the 1st day of class instead of before then. That means that schools that are just below the cusp of a U.S. News-relevant number are going to be very very eager to accept a late application if it means they hit a number they're trying to hit.

    For example, imagine a school sets a target of an average LSAT of 160. Two weeks before school starts, the class has an average LSAT of 159.51, which the school can report as a 160. Then, a few days later, a few top students get an offer from a higher-ranked school and withdraw, dropping the class LSAT mean to 159.49. With that class, you have to report the U.S. News average as a 159, which will be seen as a big 1-point drop. If you're the Admissions Dean at the school, you'll be extremely eager to admit a student who has a high enough LSAT to push your median back into the range that gets reported as 160 instead of 159. Even if that means admitting a student just a few days before classes start.

    I have no idea if that's what is happening at Crieghton. (For that matter, I don't know if the U.S. News LSAT numbers are rounded up like that.) But my sense is that part of the late-breaking applications reflects the new methodology of measuring numbers based on the 1st day of class.

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    1. That reminds me of an idea I had, Orin.

      I've read, and seen statistics that suggest, that early applicants have a decided edge at many (but not all) law schools. Do you think there may be a bimodal distribution over time here? Could very late applicants get a bump (perhaps a smaller bump) if they have at least one number that contributes to a given school's medians or 25/75 figures?

      I'd imagine that even if it exists, any such effect would be hard for any one individual to harness to her advantage. But do you think a pronounced splitter, for example, could apply at the last minute to a bunch of Top 20 schools that are otherwise out of reach and find that a quarter of them are unexpectedly willing to admit him?

      And with the new methodology that you mentioned, the last minute would be later than it used to be.

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    2. Imagining The Open ToadAugust 14, 2014 at 7:18 PM

      "That means that schools that are just below the cusp of a U.S. News-relevant number are going to be very very eager to accept a late application if it means they hit a number they're trying to hit."

      Rather like automobile dealerships as the approach the month's-end incentives deadlines.

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  9. It's not just the Creightons that accept applications a few days before—or even after—the start of classes: two years ago, Paul Campos reported that 28 of the so-called top 50 schools, and 8 of the so-called top 17, were accepting applications when the semester was less than a month off. The U of Chicago was among them.

    Reference:

    http://insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.com/2012/07/most-top-law-schools-still-accepting.html

    As for rounding, you can bet your ass that You Ass News does use it. Imagine the shrill cries from law skules with an average of 159.99, or even 159.50, if they weren't listed at 160.

    Old Guy

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    1. An excellent reference, and I do remember that post by Campos. Those were great days of almost boundless curiosity and creativity on his part.

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  10. Creighton is just a pretentious misspelling of cretin.

    Old Guy

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  11. From San Francisco:

    "The USF School of Law is currently accepting applications for Fall 2014."

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  12. The point in the post about impulse buying is a good one. The impulse to learn about law isn't wrong or shameful. An active mind will always want to learn new things to grow and survive. There are, however, objectively better ways to learn about law than enrolling at the last minute in a shamefully overpriced third-tier law school with no financial aid. (Here's a clue: lifelong debt really isn't financial aid, even though many law schools label it as such.)

    You could go to a good bookstore tomorrow, look in the law section, and buy 8 good books for 1/1000 the cost of a Creighton law degree. Or you can do as I did. I recently found myself at the county library and, just on impulse, checked out a couple of books about the history and politics of the Supreme Court. The cost was zero, although I've paid $7 in overdue charges within the last year. Just get the books back on time.

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    1. Imagining The Open ToadAugust 14, 2014 at 7:25 PM

      "Or you can do as I did. I recently found myself at the county library and, just on impulse, checked out a couple of books about the history and politics of the Supreme Court. The cost was zero, although I've paid $7 in overdue charges within the last year"

      Yeah, but I will have a degree. And you'll be servin' my kids fries at a drive-through on our way to a skiing trip.

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    2. Most degrees don't mean much, Toad, and yours would mean even less, even if you had one.

      Here's a cognitive hint for you: anyone can fantasize. Low-cost fantasies do far less harm than high-cost fantasies.

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