Monday, December 29, 2014

A "Guest Post" by Professor John C. Kunich

A recent comment by Law Professor John C. Kunich on another OTLSS article deserves a post of its own. While we here at OTLSS were not that thrilled with Kunich's critique of David Frakt's critique of Florida Costal School of Law (nor with FCSL's unprofessional treatment of Frakt for daring to suggest necessary change), Kunich does bring up a separate point worth repeating:  

The comments on this thread are indicative of a much broader and more dangerous trend within legal academe than any of the allegations that have been made about the few law schools specifically singled out herein. I will keep my remarks brief, but this is a complex issue with serious implications.

During the past four years, I have been an invited guest speaker/debater at roughly half of the law schools in this nation. My speaking engagements have brought me to law schools at every point along the putative prestige spectrum. As just a few examples, I’ve spoken at Yale, Stanford, Columbia, U. of Chicago, Boalt Hall, Georgetown, Duke, Northwestern, NYU, Vanderbilt, U. of Michigan, Boston U., BYU, George Washington, Widener, U. of Missouri, Lewis & Clark, Vermont, Elon, FIU, U. of Denver, DePaul, LSU, Regent, and Appalachian.

As I visit these and many other law schools, I chat with students and professors. One message I have consistently heard from students is that there are major problems in legal education today. Students, even from supposedly top-25 law schools, are often worried that they will not be able to find employment sufficiently lucrative to allow them to repay their loans and make the years of foregone opportunities worthwhile. A sentiment I’ve heard repeatedly is that “I’ve done everything right. I played by all the rules. It’s not fair that I can’t even give my work away as an unpaid intern. How am I going to climb out of this deep pit I’ve dug for myself?”

I emphasize that I’ve heard this type of message from students at some of the oldest and most highly ranked law schools in America. These are students with LSAT and UGPA credentials that, according to the statistics-driven paradigm of admissions standards, should have predicted smooth sailing. Yet there are rough waters and storm clouds even for them. What went wrong?

It is probably comforting for professors working at long-established law schools with above-average admissions credentials to deride the challenges facing younger, more diverse institutions. But this ignores a far more ubiquitous problem. There are formidable challenges confronting the students at all but the most elite law schools today, and these challenges may well be here to stay.

The relatively easy availability of federal loan money has enabled undergraduate and graduate institutions of all types to raise tuition at rates considerably above inflation for many, many years. The allure of plentiful money with attractive interest rates has pulled many young people into colleges and graduate schools who might have been better off pursuing technical/trade schools or just beginning their careers early. But as student debt continues to expand, a huge bubble is reaching critical mass. We are creating many more new, expensively educated graduates in a wide range of fields than the job market can accommodate at acceptable remuneration[emphasis added]. 

High rates of unemployment and underemployment, increased use of down-sizing, self-help, and off-shoring, immense numbers of people unable to make payments on their student loans, idealistic young graduates forced to work for the highest-paying employers rather than in public interest jobs, and growing unrest within the millennial generation…all of these are symptoms of real problems within higher education today. I think we need to focus more on these big-picture issues than on the challenges facing a tiny percentage of law schools. If we continue to ignore the broader, endemic difficulties, we will only guarantee that the solutions will remain unrealized.

Respectfully submitted,

John C. Kunich

Well said, Professor Kunich.  Unfortunately, if history is any indication, these warnings will go unheeded by the Law School Cartel as real change affects their pocketbooks in a negative way.    This would be especially true where Infilaw's investors and those similarly-situated are concerned.

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. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Pace Law School hustlers have a plan for those whose "current LSAT score is not competitive enough to secure. . . admission to law school."

Pace Law School has an exciting new "pipeline program." It works as follows: Pace directs potential applicants whose "current LSAT score is not competitive enough. . . to secure admission to law school" to an LSAT prep course ("LSAT Focus Approach"). Simultaneously, the school enrolls these hopefuls in a six-week Legal Writing course taught by a Pace law professor. If, after all that coaching and prepping, a kid manages to lift his or her LSAT score to 153 or above (i.e. the 55th percentile among test-takers), Pace guarantees his or her admission to law school. And, should he or she actually enroll, Pace pays for that pre-application LSAT prep course. ("[Y]ou will receive a one-time tuition reduction to cover the cost of the program").

Understandably, the Pace admissions crew cannot contain its enthusiasm on behalf of prospective pipeline program students, those diamonds-in-the-145-LSAT-rough [1], who now have a fair chance to take their rightful place among the the juris elite. Thus, Pace Law's website bolds the following exclamation, with the final word in caps: "Seize the opportunity. Start your future NOW!"

Seize NOW! Compared to Pace Law School's admissions hustlers, a carny barker's "hurry, hurry, hurry, step right up" is a model of restraint and dignity. Though, admittedly, Pace's come-on does include a cute touch--touting its pipeline program using an I-R-A-C format. (above) Well, since precocious Pace Law wannabes now know I-R-A-C, perhaps they can move on to a second helpful mnemonic.

SINKING: Pace University School of Law’s median LSAT score is sinking. For the entering classes of 2013 (and 2014), the median LSAT at US News's 133rd finest was 151. In 2011, only a couple years earlier, the median was 154. For 2013, Pace's 151 median LSAT was the second worst among New York State’s 15 accredited law schools, besting only Touro. Sinking also describes the feeling a Pace grad will experience when entering a glutted job market with a degree from this joke law school while carrying a six-figure interest-accruing educational debt.

COUNTING: Pace is counting on poorly qualified applicants to enroll so that its faculty and administration can keep counting their loot. Pace’s non-discounted tuition is a hefty $45,364/yr., i.e. $28,000 more than CUNY Law School, which has marginally better employment outcomes. [2] A few years ago, Third Tier Reality reviewed the school’s IRS Form 990 and found three Pace lawprofs (Steven Goldberg, John Nolon, and Nicholas Robinson) listed among the University's top earners, each pulling down more than a quarter-million dollars per year. [3]


MISERABLE: Job prospects with a Pace law degree. Pace’s placement record is the worst of New York's 15 law schools (couldn't even beat Touro), with only 38.6% obtaining bar-required FT, non solo, non-school-funded jobs within 9 months of graduation. And of these, the vast majority landed in firms of 2 to 10 attorneys. Oh, Pace's bar passage rate is several points below the State average too.

"Seize the opportunity. Start your future NOW!" Translated from scam-speak, that means "Enroll in Pace Law School as soon as you can because Pace's predatory faculty and administrators are impatient to seize your borrowed fortune. But what you will be seizing for yourself is the contents of a waste pipe."


[1]  From the linked Pace Law pipeline program recruitment video:
Kid #1: "I ended up getting a 145 and applying to law schools and got rejected from every single one. . . .This course led me to go from a 145 to a 154, which, you know, that was the difference between going to law school and not." (Video at 0:24-0:30, 2:00-2:07) 
Kid #2: "I am very grateful for taking this class because I wouldn't be here in law school if it wasn't for it." (Video at 2:07-2:14)
[2]  But then Pace Law's new Dean, David Yassky, offers his assurance that his underlings will make an effort to learn your name, a personal touch that is well worth the additional tuition. ("Pace Law School takes an individualized approach to student needs and concerns. Staff members in the Office of Student Services, Office of Admissions, Registrar, and Center for Career and Professional Development make an effort to know each student by name").

[3]  Which pales in comparison to the million dollar premium that Pace Law grads will likely earn over their careers, according to an interview a few days ago with Dean Yassky, as well-heeled employers in "[j]obs like compliance at banks or pharmaceutical companies, [and] jobs at big accounting firms" bid for the services of 153 LSAT-scoring graduates of, arguably, New York's worst law school. Mind you, Dean Yassky scrupulously explains that a Pace law degree is only worth a single million bucks, not tens of millions-- no embroider, he:
"Law school and legal education remains highly valuable," Yassky told the Business Journal, “There was a recent paper several months ago that the expected increase in lifetime earnings owing to a law degree is roughly a million dollars — over the course of a career — which I think is about right." 
"A law degree, [Yassky] said, is “a material increase in earning power; it’s not the tens of millions that some people thought it might be, but it’s still a big number."

Friday, December 19, 2014

Does Columbia Law's exam deferment offer demonstrate "support and trust" for law students?

                                 (Who should be wearing these: law students or law faculty?)

A couple of weeks ago, a conservative political blog reposted an email that Robert Scott, interim Dean of Columbia University School of Law, sent to students. In the email, Scott stated that the law school would entertain final exam deferment requests made by students who felt "impaired" by the well-publicized non-indictments of two police officers who used lethal force in dubious circumstances. As well, the email indicated that several of the law school’s professors had graciously agreed to make themselves available for a few "special office hours" to counsel and support students through their angst. Plus the school arranged to have a trauma specialist hold sessions on campus. 

The Dean expressed his understanding that the non-indictments had had a "profound impact" on students in that they had "shaken the faith of some in the integrity of the grand jury system and the law." The Dean hoped that, through his efforts, the "Law School community can come to have a greater sense of mutual support and trust."

The main reaction among online commentators was exasperation with a perceived generation of pampered and entitled youth. However, at least one article took the contrary view and asserted that the approach outlined in the email was a refreshing break from Professor Kingsfield-esque coldness and insensitivity.  

I disagree with both reactions because I do not think the Dean's email reflects either pampering or understanding, but something else. You know, a con artist wins and maintains the trust of his or her marks through little favors, as well as big promises, and also by feigning emotional support. [1] I read somewhere that when one of his investors suffered a personal tragedy, Madoff threw his arms around her and promised that he would always be there for her. Columbia Law’s touchy-feely solicitude is reminiscent of Madoff’s hug.

On top of dismay over flaws in the judicial system, which are real enough, these soon-to-face-the-cruel-world law students will shortly have to deal with the "profound impact" of having been hoodwinked and betrayed by a law school "community" that promised, or seemed to promise, valuable professional training and a respected credential in exchange for a massive investment of time and money. [2], [3]

What are the chances that any of the truly pampered law professors and deans who offer their students such effusive understanding and reassurance over Ferguson will be there for grads a few years out? You know, to counsel them through their stress or unhappiness over huge debt burdens and rapidly diminishing prospects for long-term remunerative and socially useful careers in the law. And how many of these oh-so-progressive lawprofs are, consistent with their self-presentation to students and others, effective advocates for the rights of the indigent or excluded? You know, as opposed to massively overcompensated producers of jargon-laden critical theory slop that nobody ever reads but that earns them invitations to expense-paid academic "conferences" in far-flung resort locales.

So I am not outraged that a few kids may get to briefly defer their exams by asserting emotional upset caused by distressing events in the news, a tiny indulgence amidst the scamming. Rather, I am outraged at the fleecing of these kids by a gang of rich and pampered exploiters who have the nerve to call themselves caring teachers and proponents of social justice. Many lawprofs identify with the political left (so do I) just as many televangelists identify with the political right. Culturally and ideologically these two groups could not be more dissimilar. But in their relationship to persons who are foolish enough to trust them, a lawprof and a televangelist are two of a trade and the trade is called scam.


[1] Note that I am not calling Scott a con artist, my point applies to the general category of law deans, law faculty, and top administrators.  

[2] I know it's Columbia, and Columbia has an impressive nine-month-out placement record. But the very fact that it is one of the best schools for snagging big firm jobs out of the gate (308/ 425 obtained law jobs in firms of 251+ attorneys), may indicate trouble not-so-far down the road. See Steven J. Harper, The Lawyer Bubble (Basic Books 2013), 60 ("[T]he prevailing big-firm model survives on staggering associate turnover rates").

Consider the following comment from a thread on Inside the Law School Scam from two years ago. Anonymous, of course, but it had a ring of truth to other commenters on the post, and to me:
Anonymous January 17, 2013 at 11:48 PM
"As an unemployed older female Columbia Law grad desperately looking for a job, there is a big problem here. There are no jobs for older women. I need a job. All of the jobs that I otherwise qualify for have experience caps that I do not meet. Columbia Law School is a scam for women like me. My female classmates and I at Columbia have few or in my case no employment options. What should I do when no amount of looking produces a job? I need a job."
[3]  Two interesting facts about Columbia Law to consider when evaluating its pious sweet talk about support and trust and community. First, Columbia Law accepts an unusually high number of transfer students (46 in 2014, 52 in 2013) and anecdotally, transfers to T-14s have far more trouble finding good jobs than those who enrolled as 1Ls. Second, Columbia  has the highest tuition of any law school in the U.S., charging $60,274 per year in tuition and mandatory fees. This is significantly more than Harvard ($54,000), Yale ($56,200), or Stanford ($52,350).

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Guest Post by Old Guy: "Which Law Schools are Worth Attending?"

Which law schools are worth attending? For most people with less gold than Croesus, prospects for finding well-paying work after graduation will be a prime consideration.

Data on the class of 2013 from Law School Transparency show that only the following 9 law schools had at least 50% of their graduates working at a law firm with 101 or more attorneys (a generous definition of Big Law) within nine months of graduation:


If we consider not just jobs in Big Law but also federal clerkships, we get the following additional schools:


That's a total of 13 schools—the so-called "top 14" minus Georgetown—at which at least 50% of last year's graduates found a federal clerkship or a job in Big Law.

With 40% of the graduating class finding those jobs, the number of schools increases to 16. With 30%, 24. With 20%, 31 (that's 15% of the ABA-accredited law schools). With 10%, still only 78.

Let's try raising the bar instead. With 60% of the class getting federal clerkships or jobs in Big Law, the number of schools falls to 11. With 70%, the number is only 4 (Chicago, Columbia, Harvard, and Stanford). And not a single law school sees 80% of its graduates get those jobs.

If we consider federal clerkships and jobs in Big Law to be the only good jobs for a fresh graduate of law school, we can conclude that more than 60% of the ABA-accredited law schools had not even 10% of their graduates in 2013 get good jobs. Almost all of those schools estimate the cost of attendance (including nine months of living expenses per year—don't people have to live during the other three months as well?) at $100k or more, usually much more. To people who feel that that is too much to spend (even before interest and fees are tacked on) for less than a 10% chance of a good job, at least 127 of the 205 ABA-accredited law schools are therefore not worth attending. Those who expect at least a 50% chance of a good job in exchange for what might well be a quarter of a million dollars' worth of non-dischargeable debt can immediately rule out 192 of those 205 law schools.

Why do I define "good jobs" in this way? Because of the cost of attendance—and the heavy debt that it usually entails. For law school even to begin to make financial sense, a person who is relying largely on loans needs the sort of income that a new graduate can seldom obtain without a job in Big Law or a federal clerkship. Indeed, the definition of "good jobs" is actually too broad, as most of those positions last only a few years and are followed by decidedly straitened circumstances.

These figures should give pause even to the typical devil-may-care lemming. Furthermore, they can inform educational policy. What exactly is the purpose of sustaining the 60+% of law schools at which not even 10% of the students have a decent chance of a respectable outcome? Should those schools not be shut down right now? Should eligibility for student loans require more than a rubber stamp from an admissions office? These are questions that we should not be afraid to ask.

For now, I say that the 13 schools listed above, those at which half or more of the students find jobs in Big Law or federal clerkships within nine months of graduation, are the only ones that anyone not independently wealthy should consider. And even they are dodgy, especially at full price. People who are paying little or nothing in tuition may shade the cut-off from 50% to 40% but should understand that in so doing they are taking a big risk. All schools below the 40% mark should be deemed fourth-tier institutions that no one without big money or genuinely usable connections should attend at any price.

Friday, December 12, 2014

A Blueprint for Better Bullshit: Indiana U. lawprof William Henderson's proposed competency-based curriculum.

(Helpfully identifying the location of the migraine you risk by listening to him). 

A candidate for the next big thing in legal education is the so-called "competency-based curriculum." Its chief advocate is the relentlessly self-promoting Indiana University lawprof William Henderson, whose meager experience as a practicing lawyer did not prevent him from launching a consulting biz that, among other things, provides law firms with advice on hiring and on conducting "360 reviews" of employees.

At first blush, a competency-based curriculum may seem like a hopeful development. How can any proposal to replace the world's most unsuccessful professional training model, the Langdell/Socratic, be a bad thing?

But a competency-based curriculum is not primarily clinical, i.e. geared to actually training students to practice law and run their own small firms. Rather, a competency-based curriculum consists of coursework designed to bolster a series of very general personal habits (aka "competencies") that legal employers allegedly favor. Or, as Henderson puts it, "the knowledge, skills, behaviors, and attributes of highly successful professionals." [1] These competencies include "for example, teamwork, communication skills, emotional self-control, problem-solving, and decision-making." [2] Or for a full-on blast of Billy's buzzword bullshit:
"[T]he types of education that will attain the highest valuation are complex problem-solving skills that enable law school graduates to communicate and collaborate in a highly complex, globalized environment. This is not vocational training; it is the creation of a new model of professional education that better prepares our graduates for the daunting political and economic challenges ahead." [3], [4]

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

JD-Disadvantage, Part VI : The Not-JD-Degrees Awaken

"Wait, I thought this was the best way to get a Stormtrooper-Advantage Job...!  Why are there MORE degrees?  Why!?!"

"A law degree opens doors to many other opportunities outside of the law!"  

We've covered this quarter-half-truth several times on this site alone, not to mention the discussion that has taken place in other locations as well.  It almost doesn't bear repeating, yet this meme is so profligate, so desperate to take hold, that we can all point to examples of ShillDeans (again), NALP, and others trying to send young people and their federal student loan dollars down the primrose path to debt and joblessness. To counter this stream of misinformation, the scamblogs stand, defiant, against this wretched hive of scum and villainy.

A short while ago I covered the attempt to create a patent-law-light degree, which, as a non-bar-preparatory "law" degree, was invented to "contextualize the complex web of intellectual property, regulatory, business contracting and licensing issues that scientists, engineers, medical practitioners and other STEM professionals around the world face."  This is also known as the "(patent) law is fizzling, so get these STEM-types in here" degree, as evidenced by the discussion and comments.

The University of Colorado is looking to get in on the action, also, by creating the "Masters of Studies in Law":

"In many jobs, it's now important to use law in your day-to-day work, but not necessarily practice law," said Paul Ohm, the law school's associate dean for academic affairs. "To have some formal legal education, but not necessarily a license."
He said patent agents (LOL!  Ed.), compliance officers (LOL!  Ed.), human resources professionals (ROTFLOL!  Hello, they already have degree programs.  Ed.) and other positions require some legal knowledge. He compared the trend to the shift toward nurse practitioners and physician assistants in the medical realm.
Students in the new master's program will sit alongside traditional law students in classes, which mostly eliminates the need for new curriculum and hiring additional faculty members. The law school will create two new courses, "Introduction to American law" and "Legal writing for non-JD students."

Wait, I thought a JD was "valuable" and "versatile!"  Why do we need all these new law-degree-light programs all of a sudden, when one could be basking in the glory of a newly-conferred JD degree? Could it be that (gasp!) there is no actual JD-Advantage after all, that thousands of students were being mislead, and that people who need "legal training" for an actual job can just take a couple of classes over the course of one year and get the basic "legal" information for what they need to know (at a fraction of the cost)?  

Boy, don't you know it's encouraging for the 2Ls and 3Ls to see non-JD candidates sitting in some of their very same classes, because, well, you know, they already have jobs and are smart enough not to go into extreme debt for an actual law degree with few employment prospects.  But I digress.

Let's get down to brass tacks:  applications have been dropping, LSAT-takers have been dropping, and bar exam passage rates have been dropping.  So what is this really about?

The program is expected to generate more than $500,000 in revenue by its fifth year. The campus has budgeted $100,000 in annual expenses for the program.

Follow the money.

All you physician assistants...sorry, JD-Advantage graduates...don't need these degrees, as you are already minting money by virtue of your legal education and bar licensure.  Now, go save some dolphins.  

Friday, December 5, 2014

Thursday, December 4, 2014

California Western School of Law alum receives a special sales pitch from a school peddling online MBAs to dissatisfied recent law grads.

(Dear California Western SOL Alumni: You were gullible enough to graduate from this lousy law school, so perhaps you are deluded enough to pay for an online MBA. If you find yourself in a hole, keep digging). 

A recent post at The Faculty Louse, I mean Lounge, noted that a school called William Howard Taft University is trying to peddle a three-semester long online MBA program "designed specifically for newly admitted attorneys who are facing career challenges." The post’s snarky title ("An $18K Solution To New Law Grad Unemployment?") indicates that its author is appropriately skeptical. I pity the law school hustler who cannot even elicit a supportive comment or two from the academic narcissists who gather at The Louse.  

A correspondent, a grad of California Western School of Law, has provided OTLSS with a copy of a letter he received from William Howard Taft U. (below), which was directed to him precisely because of his status as a Cal West Law alumni. (above)

Taft's sales pitch is that its online MBA program ("with a concentration in Professional Practice Management") can teach the nuts and bolts of running a solo or small law firm to recent law school graduates. ("The Program teaches the skills necessary to manage a successful solo or small legal practice. It combines a traditional M.B.A. curriculum with webinars and assignments directly related to the practice of law.") Another lure, of course, is that its students get to defer existing student loans, with the slight drawback that they will be adding significantly to the sum. ("For those that qualify, it is also the only University program approved for Title IV Federal Financial Aid, allowing some to borrow tuition and living expenses while also deferring repayment of existing federal student loans.")

When a professional school tries to peddle more education to a drowning-in-debt lawyer, it does not need to utilize crass hype, just a delicate suggestion that all is not well. The letter received by our correspondent states:
"We understand that many newly admitted attorneys are facing economic challenges that didn't exist at the time they decided to attend law school. If you're not satisfied with where you are professionally here's an option you should consider.  
If you are presently employed and satisfied that your professional goals are being met, there's no need for you to read any further.  You can simply toss this letter in the trash. . ."
The signer, Taft President Jerome Alley, can be confident that few recent Cal Western grads are satisfied that their professional goals are being met, what with Cal Western's astonishing 31% bar-required job placement rate plus the fourth highest median per-student debt load of any law school in the country.

To recap. A bottom-tier law school takes three years of your life, plus your borrowed fortune, fails to teach you how to practice law, and leaves you to flounder. Then an iffy business school steps in and tries to sell you an online program that purports to teach you what law school should have taught you, but did not. By the time the lower-tier higher-education mongers get through with you, there will certainly be a whole bunch of impressive letters after your name (JD, MBA, PPM). Unfortunately, everybody will pronounce them as DUPE.


Interesting side-note: Taft runs an unaccredited correspondence law school, though its law school is evidently not involved in the particular educational product it is offering to law grads.

In California, grads of unaccredited law schools can sit for the bar, but only if they first take and pass a so-called "Baby Bar" after their first year of law school. In its most recent administration,  only 11% (4/ 38) of Taft law students passed the Baby Bar. For Taft law students taking the first-year exam for the first time, the passage rate was 6% (1/16). Yes, Taft is a school with a lot of worthwhile legal instruction to offer.

Oh, Taft Law's most famous graduate-- someone who evidently did succeed in passing both the Baby Bar and the real thing-- is a conspiracy loon and public blight named Orly Taitz. It is funny to think that the vast majority of Taft law students are even less capable than she. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Business Insider Survey Reveals Evaluation of Law School Must Require Statistical Chincanery

Recently, Business Insider - which, for the record, employs a fairly large staff for an online property and has millions of views each month - published some "survey results" that warrant further inquiry.

First up, we have pedestrian clickbait The 50 Best Law Schools in America.  The list itself isn't revolutionary or interesting beyond serving as confirmation of prestige to upper T2 attendees/graduates.  What struck me, however, is the methodology.  If you think that the US News methodology is lacking in sound methods, Business Insider has taken it to 11.5:
To create this list, we surveyed more than 300 American legal professionals to determine the best law schools in the US with the help of SurveyMonkey.
Our survey asked participants to select the top 10 law schools in terms of how well they prepare students to land their ideal job. We recorded the percentage of respondents that ranked each school in the top 10.

Approximately 52% of survey participants said they have a law degree, while 3.5% reported that they had a partial degree, meaning they're either still in law school or dropped out.
Did the record screech on your end, too?