Monday, November 3, 2014

Will Bottom of the Barrel Thomas Jefferson School of Law Further Reduce Its Faculty, Staff, Bar Prep, and Parking?

On March 21, 2014, a remarkable conference call was held between a high level team at financially-beset Thomas Jefferson School of Law (TJSL) and representatives of the bondholders who unwisely financed TJSL's chevron-topped vanity project to the tune of 130 million dollars. To its credit, the TJSL side decided to record the call and make it available on the internet on grounds that the bondholders were so numerous that a recording was the only way to effectively communicate with all, rather than a select group. 

The majority of the conference call consisted of Dean Thomas Guernsey narrating a slide show (which unfortunately is not available) about the school’s operations, programs, constraints, and revenue projections. The audio file of the call can by accessed by going to this web address and following instructions:

http://emma.msrb.org/EA592588-EA463331-EA859467.pdf

On October 29, 2014, just over seven months after the call, TJSL reached a last-minute debt restructuring agreement with the bondholders. Under the agreement, the school becomes a mere tenant in its own lavish eight story cathedral of legal learning, aka Hasl's "Mammoth" Folly. However, on its website, TJSL reassures readers that "students should not see any change in the operation of the law school caused by the restructuring" and that "We do not anticipate a reduction in the number of staff as a result of the restructuring."

What follows are a few highlights of what Dean Guernsey told the bondholders, during the March 21st conference call, about recent and projected budget cuts at the school. Potential law students and their influencers may wish to consider Guernsey’s comments as they evaluate whether TJSL is likely to provide, as TJSL promises on its website, "a learning environment in which all of our students can more effectively acquire the academic and non-academic skills that they need to thrive in a rapidly changing legal profession." They might recall that, even pre-budget-cuts, the school's bar-required job placement rate for recent grads was among the worst in the country and that its bar passage rate is dismal. How the school will improve its performance with a reduced and demoralized staff is not clear. Perhaps magic.

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* "As we’ve reported before, the school has taken dramatic cuts since 2012. The number of employees at the school declined from 139 to 102. We have reduced spending by 22% and believe the result is that we have a bare bones budget for the operation of the law school." (Conference call, at 32:50-33:10)

* "We are projecting a significant decline in the number of full-time faculty that the law school will employ as the number of students declines and then levels off." (32:24-34:40) 

* "We are projecting further personnel reductions planned over the next three years. . .We have assumed that benefits and salaries for those who work at the law school will not increase over the next four years, but that after that there will be a 2.5 percent annual growth. At some point, the continued inability to give salary increases is going to have obviously a negative impact on our ability to retain people." (33:28-34:05) 

 * "A number of expenses we have reduced, these are just the ones that are $50,000 or more. Professional fees by more than $560,000. Student recruitment by more than $430,000. Library continuations by $125,000. Security by $89,000." (39:22-39:38)

 * "We are looking for other ways to improve. . . [A] bar preparation course [for] which we pay about $600,000 a year ends in 2016. We have no intention of renewing that. That leads to a $285,000 reduction in 2017." (39:47-40:13)   

 * "We have worked hard to reduce our parking expenses, which should be about $115,000 less in 2015.  We are currently renting 400 parking spaces, and we’ve  negotiated a reduction in that number to 150 spaces at $85 per month." (40:15-40:39)

* "As we’ve talked before, the law school has made significant budget cuts lately. We have reduced the overall FTE headcount by over 21% in the past year alone. As I’ve indicated, we have further reductions projected over the next three years. Significant salary and benefit concessions have been implemented. We froze salaries and wages since 2012. In August, soon after my arrival, we made a 5% across the board cut in salaries, with an additional 3% cut for the faculty. We eliminated the 401K matching, which was up to 3% of salary and that became effective on January, 2014. And we have eliminated paid sabbaticals." (38:26-39:14) 

86 comments:

  1. "We are looking for other ways to improve. . . [A] bar preparation course [for] which we pay about $600,000 a year ends in 2016. We have no intention of renewing that. That leads to a $285,000 reduction in 2017." (39:47-40:13)

    Not like TJSL grads need any help passing the bar, right?

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    1. @6:25

      Ahh, you're assuming that the school even gives a damn about its students and graduates and their future. Major mistake.

      It's all about keeping the doors open and the profits coming. Law schools aren't yet smart enough to realize that their fate is tied to that of their graduates'. Maybe in another ten years when the legal education field has become decimated and former law profs are back to working as multimillion dollar partners will they realize the connection.

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    2. In my day law schools at least took the public position that their graduates were prepared for any bar exam (Louisiana issues excepted). A huge line has been crossed when a school milks students for +/- $150,000.00 and then says they need extra help to pass the bar. Not that anyone dumb enough to enroll at TJSL would see any issues.

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    3. TJSL's existing faculty can handle bar prep duties, right? I'd like to be a fly on the wall in that classroom.

      Then again, maybe they think with their sterling 50% CA bar pass rate they don't need any help after all?

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  2. No paid sabbaticals? How can TJSL professors continue to advance the frontiers of legal knowledge without paid sabbaticals? They certainly can't do it while teaching. Some of them may be teaching as much as 10 hours a week.

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    1. Having to teach without paid sabbaticals is nothing less than indentured servitude.

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    2. So all this time, Thomas Jefferson JD graduates were going $200,000 in debt to fund those paid sabbaticals? That's shockingly immoral. Even if those professors are producing research worth reading, which is doubtful, they can damn well do it between classes. There are plenty of would-be law professors who would jump for a teaching job, even without paid sabbaticals.

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  3. Sorry to interrupt but have you heard this one?? Torts professor Justin Hansford was arrested for protesting last week in a St. Louis Walmart. He wrote an essay about his experience. Get this from the essay.

    "We asked why we were arrested, and they said that it was for trespassing. Apparently, in some type of Kafkaesque legal mind-bender, the police had persuaded the manager to close the 24-hour Walmart. We were standing there while it was closed, so we immediately became trespassers, without having moved an inch or having entered the building with the knowledge it was closed. It actually would be a great law school exam question for my torts students this semester. (I'm hoping that they don't read this.)"

    Does anyone see the problem with the above paragraph? As any first year torts student would see you don't have to close a business to ask the police to arrest someone for trespassing. It isn't "Kafkaesque," it's basic torts law. How did he become a torts professor if he doesn't understand torts law? I pity his students.

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    1. Didn't you know that by designating your business as open 24/7, you are granting an infinite license to every member of the public to be present at all times, for any purpose, to do anything they want, and you can never kick them out?

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    2. Hey professor, did the Walmart have to close because of your protesting? If so, isn't that tortious interference with a business? That would be a better exam question.

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    3. Obviously you took torts with Hansford. No case says that. Mo. has a statute that says

      Trespass in the first degree.

      569.140. 1. A person commits the crime of trespass in the first degree if he knowingly enters unlawfully or knowingly remains unlawfully in a building or inhabitable structure or upon real property.

      2. A person does not commit the crime of trespass in the first degree by entering or remaining upon real property unless the real property is fenced or otherwise enclosed in a manner designed to exclude intruders or as to which notice against trespass is given by:

      (1) Actual communication to the actor; or

      (2) Posting in a manner reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders.

      3. Trespass in the first degree is a class B misdemeanor.

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    4. This is what is wrong with law school. SLU hired a professor with no practical experience. Also his resume doesn't indicate that he passed a bar.

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    5. I would think this scenario presents more of a property or criminal law scenario with some constitutional issues involving the actions of the police. Having this type of hypo in a torts class would confuse the students.

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    6. As a fun exercise, maybe I can get myself invited to Professor Hansford's classroom, and then once there, I will start screaming and hitting myself in the head with a giant foam noodle. If he asks me to leave the class, I will say, "How can I become a trespasser when I haven't moved an inch and never entered any building without being invited in! The class isn't even over -- according to the schedule, it lasts another 45 minutes! This is a Kafkaesque mind bender!"

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    7. The guy obviously doesn't belong in legal education.

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    8. "As a fun exercise, maybe I can get myself invited to Professor Hansford's classroom, and then once there, I will start screaming and hitting myself in the head with a giant foam noodle. If he asks me to leave the class, I will say, 'How can I become a trespasser when I haven't moved an inch and never entered any building without being invited in! The class isn't even over -- according to the schedule, it lasts another 45 minutes! This is a Kafkaesque mind bender!'"

      Comment of the entire year!

      That "professor" sounds like an extraordinary cunt. Once Walmart management says get the fuck outta my store, he's trespassing.

      "Professor" . . . nah, Fuckwit Hansford's creds include a JD in 2007 (really?), then never actually practicing law. A couple of bullshit "Obama" positions (clerical at best), then law professor.

      His "resume" is here: http://www.slu.edu/colleges/law/slulaw/sites/default/files/cvs/j.h.resume10.6.14.pdf

      Can you spot the fucking mistakes? Proofreading dude, proofreading...

      Oh, he's also "been recently recognized by the National Bar Association as one of the Top 40 Lawyers Under 40."

      HE'S NOT EVEN A REAL FUCKING LAWYER!!!!!

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    9. A real torts professor would have known he was trespassing and might be arrested. Hansford is a joke.

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    10. From his resume: "Howard University School of Law, Bachelor of Arts, Cum Laude, May 2003". Since when does Howard University School of Law award BAs? How did he get into Georgetown if he was only cum laude?

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    11. St. Louis University operates a law school that's been in serious trouble for years. Between the higher quality of Washington University and the lower tuition of the University of Missouri, there's absolutely no room for this law school. I'd place it at about No. 5 on the law school mortality table.

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    12. Another worthy member of the hackulty at that foul toilet is named SpearIt. Yes, that's his (or its) full name. It's along the lines of "andré dougie-wuggie fresh pond scum".

      St Louis really draws them in.

      Old Guy

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    13. I don't see a bar admissions on his Linkedin profile either.

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    14. Yet he identifies himself as a lawyer in that dumb article of his, and he claims to have given legal advice during his one night in jail. Might the local bar like to hear about that?

      Old Guy

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    15. Ethics professor practices law without a license. I like it. (He also claims to be an ethics professor)

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    16. SpearIt and Hansford, kindred spirits. Heavy on racial justice as they see it. But light on knowing a damn thing about being a lawyer.

      http://www.stlamerican.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/eedition/0/45/045c2704-5f69-5c35-af04-422b1467d307/4f7f02775bd8a.pdf.pdf

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    17. Gotta love the far-(limo)-libby-left. We're smarter than all of you put together, so as we say, not as we do.

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    18. Note that his resume doesn't list any honors at Georgetown. This means he didn't do very well in law school. How did he get a law prof position? Does SLU have no standards?

      Like someone mentioned before his resume is a mess. Didn't they teach him to proofread at Georgetown?

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    19. Hansford would have been in the bottom half of his entering class at Georgetown and probably closer to the lower 25% mark. He was cum laude at Howard. This means he had a gpa of 3.2-3.49. The 50% gpa for Georgetown is about 3.7; it might have been higher the year he attended. The 25% gpa for Georgetown is about 3.45. Not exactly a star student.

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    20. Indiana Tech's Dougie Fresh is a Howard alum as well. For a historically black (and T3) law school, Howard certainly produces its fair share of white law professors.

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    21. Based on his photo at the SLU Law website, I'd hesitate to call Hansford a white law professor.

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    22. Just noticed that from his thumbnail picture in that article that Justin Hansford is in fact black. I stand corrected. He must be the only black guy named "Justin" in the entire United States.

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    23. Based on the typos on his resume I'd hesitate to call him a professor.

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    24. I'm curious as to how Wal*Mart fits into Hansford's narratives of critical race theory and global justice.

      Why go to the trouble to get arrested at Wal*Mart?

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    25. He did not set out to get arrested; he was actually surprised when they hauled him off in handcuffs. He was wearing a lime-green cap with a message indicating that he was a lawyer.

      The pigs may well have mistreated him, but he's an idiot if he thinks that a magical lime-green cap and the US constitution give him the right to stay in a Wal-Fart when he has been told to leave.

      Old Guy

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    26. Yes, a law professor who teaches torts doesn't understand torts law.

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    27. There was a group of lawyers wearing lime green trying to assist with civil liberties issues. Handsford wasn't the only moron who thought that was a good idea.

      The idea of a law professor not understanding torts law isn't new. Mine was straight out of BigLaw and hadn't ever done anything with torts. It's not an important course for law school faculty, even though it's 1/5 of most student's chances at BigLaw and what, like, 1/4 of the kids will wind up practicing.

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    28. @ 7:20, that's a really interesting point. It seems like most subjects that are core practice areas for many attorneys like torts, insurance, family law, and estate planning are ignored and despised by law professors as simple and pedestrian. Family law in particular is famously neglected by legal academics. That is a stark illustration of the divide between law professors and practicing attorneys.

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    29. Hansford didn't even make an established journal at Georgetown. So how did he get a position at SLU?

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    30. Those are also the subjects—along with legal writing and research—that are most likely to be taught by women. Yes, law skule has its own pink ghetto.

      Old Guy

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  4. I looked at Thomas Jefferson's video linked. It's amazing, the building looks so modern, so slick, so prestigious. I can feel how someone can be taken in by the scam TJLS runs, the airy arcades, the roomy auditoriums, the ancient looking books, the beautiful people studying hard and prestigious matters.

    It will be great when the toilet gives up the ghost for real and the place can become an office tower for a more beneficial firm.

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    1. I think that whimsical, airy, sunny resort has a future as a downtown clinical campus for the University of San Diego. A well-executed merger with USD could avoid a total shutdown, and a few jobs might be saved.

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    2. I don't know why USD would agree to a merger when it can wait for TJSL to fail, and when/if it does it will have its pick of TJSL students (paying full freight, of course) and faculty.

      A failure of TJSL is in the best interests of everyone except TJSL faculty and administration.

      Delete
  5. I attended a state bar association meeting this weekend - at the meeting the dean of University of Denver Law announced that the school is offering ten full time faculty members a buy out. Class size looks like it will be down again next year and down over 100 seats from just three years ago.

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    1. Hmmmm. I wonder if our good friend Nancy Leong will take the cash and run?

      If she's got an ounce of common sense, she'll take the payout and leave. At least she's young/pretty enough to get a normal job. Not so for the oldies on the faculty. Oh no wait, newsflash - Skadden offering corner offices and million dollar salaries for every single one of these laid-off bums, er I mean professors.

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    2. There are usually time requirements for a buyout, some combination of age and time served on the job. I doubt if Professor Leong qualifies. When Denver Sturm goes under, which is quite possible, said professor could very well hit the open road without a dime in her pocket. Makes a great narrative, doesn't it?

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    4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    5. 1:51 here - I must add that Dean Katz also stated that DU Law now receives between 5 and 7 million per year from the main campus. He said in the past the money flowed in the opposite direction. Said not to expect anything above that amount in the future. They are trying to hold LSAT/GPA scores - the result: a reduction in class size.

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    6. Denver dropped by 30 students and 2 LSAT points this fall from last.

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    7. DU is evidently working under the delusion that the situation will turn itself around when the economy improves.

      I have heard that there are people in the Scottish Highlands who are still waiting for Bonnie Prince Charlie to come back, too.

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    8. So Professor Nancy Leong is now profiting not only from excessive debt-funded tuition for nearly worthless law degrees, but from excessive debt-funded tuition for nearly worthless undergraduate degrees as well? Ever since she went public with "racial capitalism," she's been raking in the bucks. I'm surprised there aren't thousands of publicly-interested, globally-minded students eager to get rich by taking her classes.

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    9. Half of my clan got booted out of the Highlands by Robert the Bruce in the 14th century. I still intend to go back and reclaim what's mine. In the meantime, I figure I'm owed billions in reparations.

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    10. Interesting that the DU law school is now being funded by the undergrad population. An even more vulnerable group (17 year olds) is being sold the same pipedreams of human rights advocacy, environmental research, and sports management, but without even the veneer of legal education. I guess DU can transfer undergrad profits to the law school because the other professors don't get paid nearly as much.

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    11. I still dream of reading an entire thread about Leong that sticks with talking about what's actually wrong with her, rather than making her gender a recurring issue.

      Harping on her looks or the fact that she's a 'princess' = sexist bullshit. Note that male scammers never get talked about this way. Put your dick away while scamblogging, please.

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    12. @6:43:

      "Note that male scammers never get talked about this way."

      Have you missed everything that's been said about Leiter, Hobbs, etc.? Go read Nando's blog when he's profiled some the upstanding men of the legal academy.

      Leong's class background is fair game. Calling her a "princess" isn't so much about gender as it is about an entitled, puerile mindset that oozes from her childish writing and stems from the same place as the idea of getting her wedding into the NYT. Spearit, ADCP, and others would get similar needling if they had weddings in the NYT, and rightly so.

      3:56 spoke of her attractiveness as a commodity on the job market. This is also not sexist, but an objective reflection of reality. She's more employable because she's objectively attractive. ADCP is also employable because he's young-ish and dapper.

      Sexist would be claiming that she's dumb because she's female. This is not true. She is dumb because she is dumb.

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    13. "Have you missed everything that's been said about Leiter, Hobbs, etc.?"

      I've certainly missed seeing any threads about their looks - link me?

      "Calling her a "princess" isn't so much about gender"

      LOL wow, do you really believe this? Honestly, whether you do or you don't believe what you're saying, I hope you understand that the word 'princess' connotes gender and when used as an insult, it is a gendered insult.

      "Spearit, ADCP, and others would get similar needling if they had weddings in the NYT, and rightly so."

      In good faith I agree - now, please link me to scam threads about male scammers whose weddings were in the NYT, because I'm sure there have been many such examples and I would like to put your theory to the test. (Totally serious here - I wouldn't be at all surprised if you're right, and I hope you're right. I just have a hunch that you're wrong).

      "3:56 spoke of her attractiveness as a commodity on the job market. This is also not sexist"

      Again, keep telling yourself that if you have to but please understand what it looks like here in the world that we live in, ie, a comment that is in practice rarely made towards men and which when used towards women is generally derogatory, hostile, and an attempt to detract from the substance of our working lives.

      I hope you will bear in mind that even if YOU don't believe this shit is sexist, it is part of a pattern that is so plain on its face sexist that Leong was able to exploit it to do considerable damage. Every time you go on about her gender or her wedding or what she looks like instead of her shitty, exploitative faux-scholarship - or let someone else do this without comment - you hand her more leverage.

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    14. The accusation of sexism is off base. I have never made or condoned references to her looks. "Princess" refers to status and entitlement; it is only incidentally marked for gender, because it pretty much has to be. It would be accurate to refer to a female monarch as a "prince", but that isn't really done nowadays.

      Old Guy

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    15. All right, 6:43, you can help us put this thread back on track. What's actually wrong with Professor Leong?

      I didn't like the "princess" narrative either. But it's hard to come up with a word that implies emotional fragility, feelings of entitlement, a lifetime of institutional pampering, dreadful ignorance of the real world, and remarkably immature intellectual expression--and that isn't strongly gendered to apply mostly to males.

      I suppose the only solution is to do more research and stick to the academic, political, and economic issues. Anyone care to share any revealing quotes from Professor Leong?

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    16. You want quotations? Look at this year-old article, particularly its footnotes:

      http://outsidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.ca/2013/10/the-law-school-scam-is-like-highway-to_25.html

      Plenty of examples of Her Disgrace's pretentious, juvenile, pseudo-intellectual scribbling. Before reading, though, take an anti-emetic.

      Old Guy

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  6. That ass-hat is talking about parking spaces rather than important issues. So they've cut their budget for paper clips and begun to clip coupons for 6¢ off beluga caviar. Big fucking deal. The real question is why this stinking dunghill should not be liquidated immediately.

    Bare-bones budget, my ass! The dean's own salary and benefits are a great place to cut several hundred thousand dollars a year. Fire his pig ass and appoint a receiver.

    Old Guy

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  7. Some interesting questions to think about:

    1. What happens if the new buildings owners get a better offer from another tenant?
    2. How are the widespread "scholarships" (tuition discounts) going to impact the bottom line in the coming years, and when when does the school realistically hope to start phasing them out?
    3. How bad does it have to get before tenured professors could be laid off? Actual layoff, not "take this deal or else."
    4. Is there any realistic possibility of a wealthy donor stepping into this school to help shore up its finances? I believe someone said there's someone worth several hundred million that went to this place (somehow)? If there is, I would expect them to step in quickly now that a deal has been worked out with the creditors.

    Others? Anyone want to take a crack at any of them?

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    1. "What happens if the new buildings owners get a better offer from another tenant?"

      That's a very good question. My first assumption would be that the law school made sure that they had a good lease, but who knows?

      "ow are the widespread "scholarships" (tuition discounts) going to impact the bottom line in the coming years, and when when does the school realistically hope to start phasing them out?"

      Massively, as we've seen, and the school has no realistic hope.

      "How bad does it have to get before tenured professors could be laid off? Actual layoff, not "take this deal or else.""

      My guess is that one day the professors will find that the doors are padlocked, and that the school has gone the way of all flesh. The upper administrators will have made sure that the last cash went into their pockets, but that the professors will be SOL.

      "Is there any realistic possibility of a wealthy donor stepping into this school to help shore up its finances? I believe someone said there's someone worth several hundred million that went to this place (somehow)? If there is, I would expect them to step in quickly now that a deal has been worked out with the creditors."

      I'd guess that there are not many grads from that school who can donate tens of millions of $$, and the school would have to persuade them to dump the money into that money pit.

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    2. Money and brains certainly do not always go together, but still which wealthy donor would pour tens of millions into a toilet that makes Cooley look respectable by comparison?

      You won't find me shedding crocodile tears for the professors whose paycheck bounces. Fuck them. Let them take their "versatile" credentials and network their way into another job that pays six figures plus rich benefits for less than ten hours of work per week. I'm dying to see how well single names and lower-case initials go over at the top of a résumé.

      Old Guy

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    3. Looks to me like SpearIt has a small tattoo on his face. That could prove useful when he argues criminal constitutional law cases. Lots of money in that practice area, and when SLU law goes under he'll be forced to roll in money again.

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  8. One of the best posts OTLSS has made, period, because I have never seen anything on this particular conference call.

    This is damn good reporting. Great find! Hopefully we can get a link from TaxProf.

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    1. Paul Caron did link it at Tax Prof here. http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2014/11/thomas-jefferson.html

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  9. My sole concern with the inevitable closure of TJSL is that Professor David Kaimipono Wenger land on his feet in an equal or better job. He seems like a decent enough fellow, and I don't want him to starve. Since he appears well-suited to teach at Whittier Law School, I think I'll ask them to hire him.

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  10. I don't believe when this is all done they will have the whole building.

    $6 million for a 350,000 square feet building works out to $17/sf/year. Market rates for prime office space in newer buildings in downtown San Diego are more like $25-40/sf/year. I'd guess the bondholders are waiting for this to be out of the news and TJ to stabilize before they start getting kicked out of the easy-to-lease office areas of the building.

    There are also charter schools and foreign language schools that operate in and near downtown that might want educational space. A small charter school might just need one office and three classrooms, about 3% of the building.

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    1. Good point about the building. But maybe they calculate that they'll get enough out of the law skule as a (temporarily) going concern to make up for the poor rent. Let's face it: that law skule cannot be moved. If it cannot stay where it is, it shuts down. Since the bondholders took this deal rather than forcing liquidation, they must have higher hopes for the law skule than I do.

      Old Guy

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    2. The New York Times sold the Boston Globe for the value of its real estate; they threw in the newspaper for free. Probably how this is going to end, except no one is going to want to take the free law school

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  11. Anyone know why they made the roof look like a chevron? What does it all mean?

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    1. Tribute to San Diego's military heritage. Just the same as its students being drilled constantly and left as pseudo-respected empty shells with psychological problems.

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  12. The only strategy that makes sense for these 4th tier diploma mills is to try to outlast the other diploma mills. It is a war of attrition. Perhaps the bondholders think that TJLS might be able to weather the storm and eventually pull students from other diploma mills after those schools close. If they aren't the ones to close, the profs get to keep their jobs, benefits, status, etc.

    It is sort of like prisoner's dilemma -- if all the diploma mills stay open, they all lose but they don't lose everything. If some close, those ones closing lose everything and the others win.

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    1. And don't forget, there are bondholders who have already lost considerable amounts but don't want to lose everything. Continued operation, even with a financial haircut, probably appears less risky to them.

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    2. Good thing there is a strong governing voice in the form of the ABA to bring orderly and reasonable decisions that are based on what's best for the legal profession.....

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  13. If there was ever a law school that should shut down, it's TJ. The fact that it hasn't shut down really says something about the economics of having a law school.

    http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/11/04/worth-nothing-failing-law-schools-are-kept-on-life-support/?_r=0

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    1. I highly recommend that article and the comments, mostly to enhance our critical thinking skills. One good NYT column is worth more in that regard than an entire semester at a TTTT law school. I think the guest author is a Berkeley law professor and somewhat naïve in his assumptions, but it's a good effort nevertheless.

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  14. I think people are looking at this all wrong.

    I doubt the investors actually believe TJ will remain alive long-term. They probably want it to stay alive just a little bit longer so as to recover as much of their initial investment as possible, thereby minimizing their losses.

    As for the faculty, NOBODY really cares about them. When the bondholders are satisfied, they'll just close shop, and what happens to the faculty after that is irrelevant. Don't forget, faculty are just salaried employees, so they can be let go just like autoworkers, mechanics, plumbers, etc.

    The irony here is that faculty members probably legitimately believe there is an effort being made to keep the school alive. This is the faculty exhibiting hubris thinking that they're all important and special.

    Oh well, we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

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    1. " They probably want it to stay alive just a little bit longer so as to recover as much of their initial investment as possible, thereby minimizing their losses. "

      Or find some suckers, and pass it along to them.

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    2. Good point, I bet you they are trying to find some sucker. I don't think they're going to find one though. lol

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    3. The big problem with finding a sucker to save TJSL is that TJSL is already named. At least Hofstra and Drexel could sell naming rights to their trashy law schools. But someone like Maurice Deane or Earle Mack isn't likely to throw millions into a school without so much as a sign to show for it.

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  15. At a skule whose days are numbered, the lame-duck profe$$ors will be less inclined to put in an effort—particularly if their inflated salaries have been cut. Expect the quality of instruction and other services to deteriorate.

    Think about that if you're ass enough to consider enrolling at some such tottering toilet as Thomas Jefferson. Also ask yourself what prospective employers will think of a graduate from one of the last two or three classes of a defunct law skule.

    Old Guy

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  16. I bet the whole thing gets sold to some Chinese "investors." They will employ American professors at near-minimum wages to teach hundreds of new Chinese students every year. Many interesting upper-level classes will be taught in Chinese only by Chinese military officers.
    The ABA will be highly impressed, of course, by this global learning experiment.

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    1. Chinese universities are crap. In China, if a student fails, it's the teacher's fault. So... everyone passes.

      So, a degree from the US has actual social cachet with Chinese business. For now....

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  17. OT: I just noticed this news story from last week, reporting on the passage rates for the July 2014 PA bar. Two of the local TTTs have some 'splainin' to do:

    "Widener University School of Law in Delaware saw the largest dip of 10.86 percentage points, from 71.93 percent of test-takers passing in July 2013 to 61.07 percent passing in July 2014."

    "Penn State University's Dickinson School of Law also saw a drop of more than 10 percentage points in the passage rate, from 83.87 percent passing in July 2013 to 73.73 percent passing in July 2014."

    http://www.thelegalintelligencer.com/all-news/id=1202674746728/Overall-Pennsylvania-BarPassage-Rate-for-July-Test-Dipped?mcode=1202615358116&curindex=3&slreturn=20141006174002

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    1. I saw that same story.

      Overlooked by the article was the rather huge drop in bar passage rates among Temple graduates. Although still above the Pennsylvania average (75%), Temple plummeted by 10 percentage points (from over 90% to a mere 80%). Last year, their website was bragging about how well they did. This year, nothing ....

      Yet to be fair, the sample sizes from each school vary greatly, so the statistics can be somewhat misleading.

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    2. 61%? That's approaching TJSL territory. Where one goes, others follow.

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