Friday, December 26, 2014

Law School Administrations Created An Aristocracy

Law school sells a dream to people. Students believe that in exchange for $150,000-$180,000 over three years, law school will provide them a ticket to the upper middle class. Administrators imply that if students work hard, they will be able to keep their scholarships for all three years and graduate with little to no debt and instantly begin making $150,000 per year at a white shoe firm. Over the past few months, these notions have been assailed from all sides. The deans are now trying to spin the current situation as "not that many people are applying which increases your chances of making big money straight out plus we'll give you a free iPad so please sign on the dotted line". Law school is a nightmare. That's why I was personally affronted when I saw this article about an ex-law school dean following her dreams.

The tone of the article shows how tone deaf the legal education complex remains to the reality around them. Ms. Lopez is not necessarily a bad person. She is just someone who was able to make enough money that she was able to quit her "cushy" job (the article's words, not mine), and work for a nonprofit. How many of the graduates of New Mexico Law from the last 27 years could do the same thing? 

In exchange for providing an education that doesn't teach students how to actually be attorneys, legal administrators are able to make so much money that it is feasible for them to save enough to follow their dreams if they wish to. Ms. Lopez was able to squirrel away enough that she is able to take a job that probably pays a lot less than she made at New Mexico Law. What rational human being wouldn't want this system to keep going when it is so profitable for them? 

Law school administrators and professors  have essentially created an aristocratic class that is able to sustain itself and grow on the backs of law students.  Marie Antoinette is once reputed to have said, "Let them eat cake".  Think about the aristocratic overtones that law school tries to imbue the profession with. Law school is a pantomime where the professors are royalty and the students are court jesters trying to curry favor with them. In what other profession are you paid extra for the summer to do your job? In what other profession are you able to travel and work in exotic locales as long as you can justify it? The charmed life of law professors and administrators is in peril, and they can see it. 

Law school administrators and professors are only acting as they should be expected to. They will not change. It is up to us to change the minds of potential students. The money that fuels the machine is the only thing that can derail it. Only then can the system be reformed enough that law school costs are brought back down to reasonable levels and law professors are forced to live like the rest of us. 

38 comments:

  1. I am not sure if a salary of $117,000 in 2011 (for someone in their 50's) can be described as aristocratic:

    http://www.abqjournal.com/news/metro/29225412838newsmetro04-29-11.htm

    I am not sure why you are picking on someone who left such a law school job if your argument is that law school administrators are trying to sustain the system.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True, but the professors and their ilk cultivate a genteel image that is greatly at odds with their insatiable avarice.

      Delete
    2. Let's put it this way: there are fully trained doctors who make that much money, and their job consists of standing on their feet all day examining patients and being on call 24/7. By comparison, law school administrators sit on their ass and get their assistants to push paper, while they basically do nothing meaningful. If they were to resign, the law school could function just as easily without them.

      I'd call that aristocratic.

      Delete
    3. Are you kidding? How many law school graduates receive $117,000 a year in their fifties?

      Delete
    4. That salary sounds awfully appealing to me. Bear in mind that a typical law professor works only about ten hours per week and perhaps 36 weeks per year.

      Old Guy

      Delete
    5. 6:18, I think you're on the wrong blog. Leiter needs his cock sucking over at Leiter Law School Reports - I hear him ringing his little bell for service.

      $117,000 for DOING NOTHING?????!?!?!?!?!

      I could understand your point if the six figure salary was for working his or her ass off six days a week for seventy or eighty hours of legit meaningful work that actually generated revenue or made the world a better place, but academic administration? The simplest position ever. Do nothing, need to know nothing, just have secretaries print shit out and do things for you and you sign a couple of pieces of paper each week. Fuck, I'd take $17,700 to do that all day every day!

      You're an absolute idiot. And I mean that sincerely.

      Delete
  2. The law school pigs have had more than their share of cake. It's time to barbecue their asses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barbecued gammon from cake-fattened swine. Bon appétit.

      Old Guy

      Delete
    2. That would be a pretty expensive barbecue, not to mention the moral implications of roasting law professors. They're only pigs in a metaphorical sense. And even roasting real pigs would be racist. It's too much like a luau, can't you see that?

      I say we just quit feeding them cake. And wine and cheese. And gourmet meals at their endless banquets and conferences. And no more BMW's and vacation homes until law school is worth what the students are paying for it.

      Delete
    3. I am waiting for a new blog to read with interest: "outside the law school scam" it will be written by former law professors who have had their asses barbecued and tossed out of the academy. They will be posting from the local public library in the hours between soup kitchen meals.

      Delete
  3. Great call, MA, on money being the key. As much as we love to criticize oafish professors, it's also important to remember that the biggest profit-makers are the ones issuing the student loans. Whether that's the Department of Education or private lenders, the billions made in profit are the root cause of the higher-ed scam.

    The whole higher-ed complex is way overpriced. The cost is one thing, but the fact that they fail to educate with anything important makes it truly dastardly. Law schools are not alone in this respect.

    Other spheres of higher ed are boosting revenue by going the adjunct route, however that does not seem to be an option for Law. With all the false pretense of prestige, they can't stick you in front of some TA, part-timer, or graduate student. Will profs own gluttony lead to their comeuppance?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Using adjuncts doesn't boost revenue; it reduces costs. What it does boost, however, is profits.

      Too bad Ms. Lopez had to leave her cushy job to help other people. If the system were working properly, she could work at a non-profit just by staying at UNM.

      Delete
  4. I also believe it is a bit unfair to target this person. I actually admire her for giving up a career as a tenured faculty member/dean to work for a non-profit. We should applaud the decision. In addition, full in state tuition at UNM Law is only $15,701.00 – pretty low in comparison to my state’s flagship school.

    http://lawschool.unm.edu/admissions/tuition.php

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you really this deluded? No offense, but tuition isn't the full cost, and 45k, 90k, 150k for a worthless degree in a market that is not only saturated but chewing up and spitting out human beings everyday...cleanest dirty shirt argument doesn't get you anywhere.

      You see why this skank jumped ship? I do. The law school is going down. Law schools everywhere are going down; so, she parlayed her fake charitable work on the board of some charity for a fat salary of the poverty pimp.

      I hope she rots in hell. She probably will. Something tells me she's not helping the poor, unfortunate homeless for FREE! No, no, not that.

      Delete
  5. I don't know about eating cake, but Sedillo Lopez did buy a box of expensive chocolates for a homeless woman. A nice gesture, to be sure, but not exactly what a homeless woman needs. I think that as a law school professor and associate dean she grew increasingly out of touch with humanity.

    Quitting her cushy job to help others was a noble decision on her part. It's exactly what Dean Lopez needed to feel like a real person again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Read Mark 12:41-44 and Luke 21:1-4. Charity is easy and often meaningless when you've already made your pile.

      Delete
    2. Those are some beautiful Bible passages. The Widow's Mite. Reminds me of those well-intentioned grandparents who encourage their grandchildren to go to law school, and even contribute a few thousand dollars to the process.

      Little do they know what the true cost of law school will be, and how little they can ease the unnecessary burden of going to a fraudulent law school. And make no mistake about this: many of them are fraudulent.

      Delete
    3. That putative incident with the expensive chocolates was intended to promote Lopez, not to help the recipient of Lopez's so-called charity. I hope that the homeless woman threw the chocolates back at Lopez and told her gringa ass where to get off.

      Old Guy

      Delete
  6. Slightly off topic here, but highly relevant to the law school scam:

    If you're a law professor and haven't graded all your finals yet, you should be working 12 hours a day to get them all done. One day off for Christmas or another holiday is all you deserve. There are first-year students who have incurred enormous debts, sometimes as much as $40,000, to endure your uninformative first-semester courses. They need their grades right now so they can decide whether to drop out, transfer, or continue with the stressful screening process.

    Shame on all you lazy law professors who haven't submitted your grades yet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Only people who have been law students understand the stress of being 6-7 months into your super expensive schooling without having received any meaningful feedback on your performance. I have tried to explain this phenomenon to prospective students, but it just doesn't compute with people who haven't been there.

      It's a huge scam. I was already well into my second semester before I found out how I did in my first. By then, almost no one is going to drop out.

      Delete
    2. 4:47pm: Truer words were never spoken. But I think the psychological stigma of not finishing law school is ingrained even deeper. I got terrible grades my first year, but stayed because mentally, I said, "I'm already 1/3 of the way through. Might as well see what happens next year."

      I remember a girl dropped out right before her 3rd year because she had no desire to go on. She was mocked because she only had one year left and then she would "have something to show for all this time". Looking at it now, she was the smartest one out of all of us.

      Delete
    3. I remember a 2L when I was a 1L who quit mid-year who attended the same church as me. I had a hard time understanding it then, but in retrospect he was smart to move on as he did once he decided the game was up. I should have done the same, most likely.

      I also remember some catty 3Ls who took to gleefully crossing out that person and other people in the school facebook (you know, before Zuckerberg's Facebook) with a red marker as people who "couldn't make the cut." I couldn't understand how 25 year olds could be that sociopathic already. Another warning sign I should have paid attention to.

      Delete
  7. Perhaps, a bit of seller's remorse after years of pushing roasted shit disguised as precious jewels otherwise known as law school.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't count on it. Ask the sow what she's getting paid to run this charity... :). She LOVES the the homeless so much she took one into her...oh wait, no. She's getting paid fat stacks to "help" the "homeless" and have articles written about herself. She's a fucking deity.

      I wonder if she'll run into any homeless NM grads in her charitable adventures...I'm SURE she will. I hope she chokes to death! Merry Christmas!

      Delete
  8. Don't forget that there are some law schools that promote academic jobs to prospective students. The University of Chicago is probably the worst offender in this regard. They'll convince you that because you got a few A's on your term papers and got admitted to an "elite" institution, you've got what it takes to be a professor of a subject you've never studied or practiced. All that remains is to sign the loan documents, and you'll be a distinguished philosopher of law in no time.

    Sedillo Lopez herself graduated from UCLA, where that type of delusional thinking is all too common. But if you don't qualify for affirmative action, UCLA won't get you into academia these days. Chicago is almost as bad, and cruelly plays up the nearly nonexistent chances of academic employment to those who dream of a cushy lifelong job as "associate dean" or "professor of human values."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just looked at the University of Chicago Law School website, and I was shocked to see that what you said is absolutely true. There is an entire section on the legal academic job market. Essentially, they are trying to lure prospective students who want to attend law school, but think they are too good to actually practice law. The implicit elitism is revolting, especially the part that advises these "future law professors" about what institutions they should consider worthy of their talents when they start applying for faculty jobs.

      Delete
    2. And who's behind that idiocy? Ah, yes. "Professor" Brian Leiter.

      Delete
    3. To be fair, U of C does style itself as a "PhD factory" of sorts. Not the Booth business school folks so much, but a lot of other departments graduate people who go on to do more academic stuff at other institutions.

      Not that that excuses the law school too much. At least U of C has better outcomes than most, but I don't think legal academia should be the primary focus of the school under current circumstances.

      Delete
  9. She's running that charity like she ran the law school: focusing on everything other than those who she's supposed to serve.

    Her two "new" ideas?

    1 - "creating a wellness room in an unused 10-foot-square space at Enlace, located near Yale and Gibson SE. “I’d like to find a futon for it, or a bamboo floor where people could either lie down or meditate,” she said."

    2 - "commissioned Albuquerque-based sculptor and art educator Alexa Grodner to lead in the creation of a 12-foot by 30-foot wall that will be composed of more than 200 ceramic tiles. They will be texturized and decorated by Enlace staff, service recipients and their children."

    So nothing to actually help battered spouses? A fucking bamboo room to lie down in (which will be used by the staff)? Wasting money on an art commission?

    What a waste of money. How many battered spouses could that bamboo room have helped? Why not turn it into an office for an attorney and spend the art money on a one year salary?

    How about DOING ANYTHING THAT ISN'T WHOLEHEARTEDLY STUPID AND SELFISH?????

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If this is true, I wouldn't be surprised. Its like law school deans are selected for their ability to waste as much money as possible on useless window dressing while still preserving the status quo.

      Delete
  10. MA mentioned how law schools are selling a dream to people. Full scholarship, recruited by big law firms, fulfilling career, and so forth.

    The scholarship part is one of the keys to making a good decision. If you're not offered a scholarship, it's a signal that the dream may not happen for you as advertised. Why? Its not just that you'll have more debt coming out of law school. Perhaps more important is that the law school didn't consider you a worthy recipient of their scholarship. And for the very same reasons, a top law firm may not consider you a worthy occupant of their associate position. Anyone who absolutely needs a biglaw position to avoid financial ruin is highly unlikely to get a biglaw position.

    ReplyDelete
  11. "Marie Antoinette is once reputed to have said, "Let them eat cake"." Which she never said. It was black propaganda of the time, orchestrated by the agents provocateurs of con man and madman Philippe d'Orléans, who was financed by the British bank and wanted to be king in place of the king. Give a queen a bad name and hang her. The "revolutionaries" - who called themselves "terrorists" - tortured her innocent little kid to death also. So they were.

    Aristocracy means government by the best. Our education system is led by the worst.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have no more actual knowledge of what Marie Antoinette said than the sources upon which you rely have. Which is none. You also seem to have missed the point, not once, but twice. You confuse the propaganda meaning of aristocracy with its real meaning; aristocracy was never meritocracy, but a claim of right.

      On a deeper level, you are part of the problem.

      The problem is that some people insist explicitly or implicitly that the crime of fraud and associated "white collar" crime is different and less bad than violent crime, such as bludgeoning someone to death.

      That is false. But, you are hardly alone. Many people hold that opinion. "White collar" crime is, after all, not called "blue collar" crime. It is urbane crime. The crime of the sophisticated. Bernie Madoff holds that opinion as well. His crimes were of a rarer stuff than vulgar violence.

      Do you know whose opinion I would really like to have on whether Bernie Madoff's crimes were violent ones? I want his dead son's opinion. Mark, the son who hanged himself. I want his opinion. After that, I want the opinions of the other corpses left in his wake. Then, I want the opinion of his orphaned grandchildren as to whether Grandpa was in fact a vulgar, violent criminal.

      But since you raised with your rhetoric the issue of proportionality, and since you are obviously enamored of authority, let's go to the most perfect expression of justice as simple proportionality. It goes like this: an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

      Indulge me in a hypothetical.

      What would a white collar fraudster with many victims suffer in his or her body if a deity came along and exacted an eye for an eye and a tooth for tooth?

      How many eyes and teeth would a dean of a law school who tells her victims falsehoods, plies her victims emotionally, with alcohol, fantasy, made up data, have left?

      What would the condition of her body and mind be once all the justice owing had been exacted? In what condition would we find such a body? What environment? Homeless? Hungry? Despairing? Dead from suicide?

      If such a hypothetical dean had a child but deprived another of her ability to have a child, justice would require the deprivation of that joy.

      Go ahead, describe what perfectly proportional justice would be in detail.

      Back to Marie Antoinette. What sort of mentally retarded individual would erect as the bulwark to her safety a dynamic in which the peasant's child starves to death in the streets (courtesy of the Mississippi Company bubble no less!) and the peasant is restrained from bloody revolution only by a morality and self-control so stunning that it outstrips any morality to be found anywhere in the 'aristocracy.'

      Do you need me to dumb that down for you? One cannot murder people and then preach to them about the moral evil of their just punishment. Apart from the hypocrisy, it just does not work.

      I do not need an authority to divine the truth that a 'crime of passion' is less serious a moral failing than a 'cold, calculated, premeditated and deliberate' crime. The French poor were provoked beyond what any group of people could or would endure.

      Marie Antoinette was the last 'queen' of France. The last damn one. Vive la revolution.





      Delete
  12. If this woman is so into helping the truly screwed in society, why isn't she taking no money to advocate full-time for the restoration of bankruptcy protection for her former students?

    You see, they're a lot poorer than simply abject poverty. That's what debt is - it's permanent, hopeless, inescapable, abject poverty, not simply having nothing. Having nothing would be better, an objective improvement. So would bankruptcy.

    So, f this lady. I really hope that she and her ilk (financial fraudsters sucking on the bailout tit) don't stop, don't slow down raping everyone honest, decent, ordinary and weak in this country. I hope the blow back is as bad or worse than those historical examples following "let them eat cake."

    ReplyDelete
  13. I went to a TTTT toilet bowl in Springfield, MA where professors make in excess of 200k a year for doing jack shit. The whole system needs federal oversight the same way Wall St. needs actual SEC officials to make sure people are breaking the law. Law school in American is criminal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree 100%. There is no accountability. At this point, most law schools exist only to serve as a means of transferring money from taxpayers into the pockets of law "professors." The students are merely incidental conduits for said money, and are completely disposable after they have served their purpose. Why is no one demanding an end to this vile practice?

      Delete
    2. There is no oversight whatsoever and it's going to reach the point of critical mass where young unemployed lawyers are committing suicide before anyone does anything. One of the bullshit artist Deans at my toilet of a law school, WNE, used to say law is a self-regulating profession. That is exactly the problem. Tuition rates have skyrocketed over the past twenty years to the point where it makes no sense whatsoever to even go to law school for most students. CA's bar passage rate is below 50% now. Where are all the students who have 200k in student loan debt and can't find work or repay their loans going to go? I would leave the country. Someone in the federal government needs to get off their ass and do something before this gets even worse. The baby boomers were right, they were the generation that was going to change the world - the made it awful.

      Delete