Friday, May 1, 2015

(Updated) Breaking News: Indiana Tech Law School "Fails in First Bid for Accreditation."

Could the ABA finally be getting things right?  According to the News-Sentinel, the ABA has recommended against accreditation for ITLS.  Wonderful and sane news for a change.  While, with its first graduating class of 28 students and a total enrollment of a mere 59 students (out of the 350 they had expected), this isn't going to have much impact on the overproduction of lawyers, it'll hopefully mark the absolute end of the overproduction of law schools.  Including this one if things turn out well.

There's much grasping at straws in the article by Matt Blair, ITLS's Director of Sales and Lying Marketing and Communications: a "temporary setback", "moving in a positive direction", "no reason to believe (we can't be accredited) by commencement 2016", "building a great law program", etc.  No comment from any students though, nor any of the academic staff.

More on this story as it develops.

A quick note to students at ITLS.  2Ls, there's still time to quit and avoid having to ever be known as a failed law grad from a failed vanity school.  1Ls, you should run and never look back.  And to any students considering attending ITLS, please, please, please just don't.

(Update - 5/2/15)

A couple more news outlets have picked up on this story.  21Alive.com nails the appropriate tone:
Students and faculty at Indiana Tech Law School are reeling from the news that the school received a recommendation against accreditation by the American Bar Association.
It’s definitely a setback, but not necessarily fatal to the law school's future.
The start up law school did not get accredited on its first try, which is not uncommon, but still a major blow to morale for both students and faculty.
While Dean Cercone is already busy "denying rumors" and trying desperately to put a positive spin on the accreditation problems in an article over at The Journal Gazette.  (Incidentally, the story was one of the JG's "Top Stories" at the top of its front page this morning.  Well done to journalist Jeff Wiehe for making sure this story wasn't buried deep in the site.  With luck, he'll continue to investigate this school - there's far more stories of fraud, waste, and lord knows what else hidden within the walls of ITLS than there are students.)

58 comments:

  1. This is welcome news. Lets hope it scares off anyone stupid enough to think about enrolling next fall. Also, that News-Sentinel article is a joke. Check out this quote:

    "The school has room for 350 students and expected about 100 in its first class, but enrolled only 28. Since then, however, enrollment has more than doubled to 59."

    The only reason enrollment has doubled is because there are now two classes.

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    1. Well, credit where credit is due: they did get 31 people in their second class, which is three more than they had in their first class. I had expected a decline, not an increase.

      By the way, Charles, there shouldn't be 28 in the first graduating class, as one student left last year (transferring to Yale, no doubt), and possibly more will leave this year.

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    2. Hey Old Guy, the increase was probably due to the fact that they made the LSAT optional ... LOL

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  2. Is it too late in the cycle for Indiana Tech students to put together a transfer application, etc. from scratch now and go to another school by the Fall? Not sure how easy it would be to get recommendations, transcripts, etc. and have them submitted and reviewed by another school at this late date.

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    1. Too late? Why, things are only beginning at many toilet schools. Applications are accepted as late as a week or so after the start of the term.

      It is, however, too late for people with two years of Indiana Tech under their belt. They can only quit now or press on.

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    2. Interesting questions: How many toilet schools will accept transfer students from unaccredited schools like Indy Tech? Would they make such transfer students start over with no transfer credits? That could be quite lucrative for schools like Denver, Thomas Jefferson, and Santa Clara.

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    3. Toilets these days don't scrutinize applicants; they take almost anything that can put a signature (or at least a mark) on a loan agreement.

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  3. How would you feel about this "temporary setback" if you were one of the 27 worthies in the inaugural class? Graduation is only a year away, yet you won't even be allowed to write the bar exam in Indiana unless Dougie Fresh and the rest somehow wangle accreditation after this failed attempt.

    How would you feel if you worked there? Would you expect to keep your job for even one more year? The first dean was gone in less than a year, reportedly leaving all of a sudden in order to explore "new opportunities".

    What would you think if Indiana Tech had just accepted your application and sent you a sheaf of loan documents to sign? Would you not at least want to see the ABA's report (which hasn't been released yet)? Would you not want to know exactly why Indiana Tech failed despite a costly promotional campaign to persuade the ABA's inspectors?

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    1. Yeah, Alexander went from being a staunch proponent and defender of the school to being "gone in 60 seconds." One would have loved to be a fly on the wall during the discussions that lead up to that moment.

      He's still listed as an ABA "inspector," so who knows. He gave up on being Dean in order to faithfully accredit ITLS? Hrmmmm......something does not compute.

      https://www.linkedin.com/pub/peter-alexander/15/25b/548

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    2. The discussions that led up to that moment were probably both short and profane.

      Alexander stepped down as dean of another toilet in order to ru(i)n Indiana Tech. He must regret that decision now.

      But what am I thinking? Of course he got a partnership, complete with sable-carpeted corner office, at a white-shoe law firm. After all, he holds a million-dollar Versatile Degree®.

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  4. did anyone catch "Interim Dean dre cummings?"

    is "andre" going by "dre" now??

    Is that why the "beats by dre" headphones were the 2nd place prize in the Lawyer Boot Camp raffle being held at ITLS?

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    1. MEMO
      To all staff
      From Dean pond scum

      Owing to our esteemed institution's financial difficulties, we have decided to branch out into the manufacture of headphones. Known as "beats by dre", they will feature an orange-yellow centurion on the side and will be designed for the enjoyment of hip-hop.

      Also, all employees are henceforth required to write their names solely in lower-case letters. We expect in this way to save a fortune on toner, pencils, and chalk. An exception will be made for the authors of lascivious tell-all memoirs.

      Thank you for your collaboration.

      Very truly yours,
      dougie fresh

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    2. It's like Paulie Shore and Snoop Dogg had a kid together, and that kid ran off and started a damn law school....

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  5. Dougie Fresh is about to lose everything...Ain't that a bitch?

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    1. LOL, but he got dat legal preftige from DC and Chicago. He'll be scoring chicks for the next 20 years.

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  6. Will whoever makes the rules for bar examination in Indiana allow ITLS grads to sit for the bar?

    I know this is split amongst the states - some state bars accredit ABA unaccredited schools, allowing their grads to take that state's bar exam, but some do not.

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    1. In Indiana, it is required that you be a graduate of an ABA approved law school in order to be eligible to sit for the Indiana Bar examination.

      http://www.in.gov/judiciary/ble/2368.htm

      It is my understanding that so long as the approval was pending, the Indiana Bar Examiners considered allowing the graduating students from ITLS to sit for the bar, but according to the news tonight, since the accreditation has failed, the students will only be allowed to sit for the bar if the school manages to get accredited on its next attempt next year.

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  7. From an e-mail sent out by Denver University Law Dean Katz (note he claims a 91.7% employment rate for grads seeking "professional employment.":

    We have completed our survey of employment outcomes for Denver Law’s JD Class of 2014 and reported the results to the American Bar Association (ABA). We are pleased to report that 91.7% of the members of Denver Law’s JD Class of 2014 who sought employment were employed in professional positions as of March 15, 2015 (the ABA “Reporting Date”). More details on the employment outcomes for the Class of 2014 are available on our website.

    Our 91.7% “Professional Rate” compares favorably to the national professional rate of 88%. The Professional Rate includes all Bar Required, JD Advantage and Other Professional jobs and divides that by the total number of graduates who were seeking work. It omits nonprofessional positions. And, consistent with US Department of Labor methodology, it also excludes graduates who were not known to be in the labor market.1 We count Bar Required, JD Advantage and Other Professional jobs because we believe they are generally good employment outcomes. Similarly, we include part-time and temporary positions because they are often stepping stones to full-time, long-term jobs. That said, we know most graduates would prefer to find full-time, long-term jobs sooner, and we are constantly trying to improve in this area.

    Many commentators (including US News & World Report) prioritize Bar Required and JD Advantage jobs and we are pleased that Denver Law’s employment outcomes continue to improve in these areas. In the class of 2014, 85.6% of our graduates landed Bar Required or JD Advantage jobs (up from 84.3% for the class of 2013), which exceeds the national percentage, 78.6%. Focusing more narrowly on the employment rate that US News publishes—the percentage of graduates in full-time, long-term, Bar Required or JD Advantage jobs—we continue to see steady improvement. The table below shows that we have improved by about 17.3% by this measure since the class of 2010.

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    1. Funny, it's a big coincidence that 17.3% is about the typical number of JD-Advantage jobs and "Professional" jobs that the average law student from the average law school gets. So, in other words, law firm jobs are "flat" at around 65-70% depending on the year. "Not bad," I guess...unless you had to settle for a non-firm job to try to pay the bills...?

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    2. Imagining The Open ToadMay 4, 2015 at 1:42 PM

      To get to that 91.7% they had to exclude from the denominator not only the supposed non-seeking but also those who were of "unknown" status. (Tell me again why you get to assume the best-case scenario?)

      In addition, to get to that 91.7% number they had to add in all the short-term and part-time "professional" jobs, including school-funded, which accounted for more than half of the ST/PT stuff.

      The ST/PT stuff together makes up over 21% of the cohort supposedly making up the "Professional Rate" job findings.

      Let's be real. Denver's 2014 class found FT-LT-JD required jobs at a rate of 54%. Notably, of those, 1/4 are in "firms" of 2-10 lawyers. I'm sure many of those really are real small firms offering employment. But I'm also guessing many are not.

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    3. And of course they disregard the salary, if any, that those "jobs" pay. They count a "professional" job paying $10 or $15 an hour, or even nothing at all—or even a negative salary (we've seen a few "jobs" that actually required payment from the "employee").

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  8. I believe this (see video) is entirely appropriate at this time:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaoySOGlZ_U&hd=1

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  9. I predict an imminent merger with Valparaiso or Ohio Northern, either of which would probably prefer the bustling Fort Wayne marker to the tiny towns they're currently stuck in.

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    1. Valparaiso is in the Chicago metro area, more or less.

      Indiana Tech wouldn't part with a building in the middle of campus. A merger would mean the closure of one law skule and the transfer of its students (those that were willing to continue) to the other.

      Just close Indiana Tech down. Admit that it was a monstrous mistake and that its founders were warned.

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    2. Valpo is in the Chicago metro area, says someone not from Valpo. I'm sure the five (5) law schools actually in the Chicago metro area find this statement amusing.

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  10. Concordia in Boise also did not receive provisional accreditation.

    I do feel sorry for the students. Law schools are really going after low-income and minority students. Despicable.

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  11. Since its conception and inception, the Indy Tech law school has been an endless source of mirth, a true gift from the comedy gods. This latest episode is no exception. Absolutely, unbelievably hilarious!

    I just wish that 60 or so students, some of them decent and sincere people, weren't caught up in this mess. They have some excruciating decisions to make.

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    1. the worst part is that the median age here is 31 from what i remember. they are fucked and probably take another 10 years to recover.

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  12. They do have a nice building, as the News-Sentinel photograph makes clear. I really like that building.

    I wonder if they still have the curated art collection on display? Seriously, I'd visit Fort Wayne if they did. That building is truly historic by now, a veritable monument to human folly and delusion. And very pleasant to look upon. However, I wouldn't pay $29,000 a year just to look at it for three years. What else you got?

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    1. The building can serve as the Museum of Educational Scams.

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  13. What does accreditation even matter? Even if this shitheap is accredited, it's not going to suddenly add 50 students a class.

    Don't get me wrong - I hope the ABA has the nuts to say "no," but it's not like this school is going to avoid the death spiral.

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    1. It matters greatly for the students, who won't be able to join the bar in Indiana if Indiana Dreck is not accredited.

      Otherwise, no, it won't matter very much. Indiana Dreck is headed for closure no matter what.

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    2. I think the fact these idiots couldn't look around and say "28 people? for reals? I'm out" suggests they lack the appropriate risk aversion to ever be even mediocre lawyers.

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  14. This is great news. Thanks for the wonderful writeup, Charles. However, this action may be a mere PR move by the ABA. Even if the toilet does not gain accreditation and it folds, it is still a small player. Hopefully, this would prevent other univer$itie$ and college$ from even thinking about opening an unnecessary diploma mill however.

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    1. Why did the ABA refuse Indiana Tech provisional accreditation? PR is one explanation. Another is the desire of the law-school scamsters, who control accreditation, to keep upstarts out of a declining racket. Unable to sell their own seats, they certainly don't want an Indiana Tech to lure prospective marks away, even though the numbers are tiny (and many of the people going to Indiana Tech wouldn't be willing to go to any law skule but their own local toilet).

      Indeed, accreditation may become a new battleground for internecine warfare among the law-school scamsters. Will the Cardozos and the Oregons join forces at the ABA in order to throw a few Thomas Jeffersons overboard by yanking accreditation?

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  15. God is dead. F. Nietzsche.

    No, ITLS is dead. God

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  16. Hmmm. If a prospective student in 2013 had listened to Indiana Tech Vice Dean andre douglas pond cummings, he or she might have formed the impression that accreditation was not something to worry about.

    “If I were a prospective law student, knowing that the Indiana Tech Law School is brand new. . . not yet accredited, I would encourage that student to think about these things in, you know, considering coming and being a part of a new unaccredited institution. First, we are going to work day and night to ensure that we gain ABA accreditation. Simply stated, the ABA has hundreds of rules. If you meet them, they will accredit you. Our faculty will work tirelessly to ensure that we meet each of the rules and regulations to be accredited. So I have no doubt that we will do everything necessary to clear that hurdle. “

    --andre douglas pond cummings, March 14, 2013. (video link, at 5:03-5:53)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEP3TOC02_Q

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    1. So accreditation, according to Dougie Fresh Pond Scum, is just a matter of checking administrative boxes. Any old toilet could get it.

      Except that one toilet did not.

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    2. It looks like the recent news was actually disclosure that a negative report will be issued soon. I'd love to read that report.

      Also, I wonder if Peter Alexander was one of the ABA examiners. That would be delicious. A scammer working the system to keep future students from being scammed.

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    3. Look at his eyebrows while he is saying all that. Aggressively arched eyebrows can be a sign of lying.

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    4. Apparently Alexander was cashiered in about two seconds. The announcement said that he had tendered a "resignation" effective immediately.

      Well, he might just feel a bit of rancor over the circumstances of his departure. And that rancor might just manifest itself as an ill disposition towards the law skule where he had once worked. And if he happened to be on the committee that examined Indiana Tech's application for accreditation…

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  17. I hope the folks at the University of North Texas are paying attention.

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    1. Texas A&M is going to crush UNT in the DFW market. At least they had enough sense to buy an existing and accredited law school.

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    2. What sort of cUNT would go to a law school with a name like UNT?

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    3. I'm a TAMU alumnus, and I am said and dismayed that Texas A&M decided to get in on the lol skool bandwagon. With the current state of the market, why would you throw your fellow aggies to the gristmill like that? Accredited or not, Wesleyan wasn't exactly tearing up the market, with all the other options out there in Texas. It's time to consolidate, not expand.

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    4. Old Guy, such a vile comment, yet so delicious to read.

      Keep 'em coming!

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  18. "Students and faculty at Indiana Tech Law School are reeling from the news that the school received a recommendation against accreditation by the American Bar Association."

    Reeling, huh? Those students should've did some common-sense research before they matriculated into this shithole.

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  19. Indiana Tech law school is almost certain to go under. Wrong time, wrong place, wrong people, outrageously stupid in every way. But I'll be honest with you guys: I'm gonna miss lovable scoundrels like Peter Alexander, Adam Lamparello, and dre cummings.

    There will never be another Indy Tech. Enjoy it while you can. And then when it's gone, breathe a huge sigh of relief.

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    1. Shall we crash the graduation ceremony for the first—and possibly last—(cl)ass to get degrees from this toilet? Two dozen people ("mostly fools", to quote Carlyle), resplendent in their orange-yellow robes, strut up to the acting dean (or receiver) to collect their diplomas. Quite a spectacle, I'm sure. Maybe we should dress as centurions.

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    2. Don't forget those nifty lapel pins they got after their "PR" course!

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    3. Wear red evening gowns with Marilyn Monroe wigs, with hip waders and Viking helmets, because that makes as much sense as starting ITLS in the friggin' first place!

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    4. They should carefully preserve those lapel pins, which will soon become collectors' items. In fact, I wouldn't mind laying my hands on one. What better way to start the collection of the Museum of Educational Scams?

      I don't have the legs for an evening gown, but that wouldn't matter if they were hidden under waders.

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    5. Those lapel pins are merely symbols. They represent the Oath of Professionalism, which forbids any criticism of law professors. Good luck enforcing that one after the first and last graduating class reports 10% legal employment.

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    6. Oh, yes, the Oath of Professionalism™. How could I forget? Here it is:

      http://outsidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.ca/2013/10/oathiness-of-professionalism-at-indiana.html

      We the Charter Class of Indiana Tech Law School
      To the Best of Our Ability Pledge That
      We Will Live Our Lives In a Manner That Will Inspire Respect and Good Faith in
      The Legal System.
      We Will Set an Example for Society by Respecting the Law and the Profession
      And We will be an Example for Our Colleagues and the Legal Profession
      By Treating All Individuals With Honor and Integrity.
      We Will Conduct Ourselves in A Respectful and Trusting Manner
      Both Professionally and Personally
      And do Nothing to Bring Disrepute to the Profession.
      We Shall Put Forth an Effort to Promote Civility
      Among Those In the Legal Profession
      By Governing Our Own Actions and Inspiring Our Colleagues to do the Same.
      We Will Represent Our Clients in a Knowledgeable, Competent, and Prepared
      Manner
      By Being Dedicated and by Providing Clear and Regular Communication.
      As Indiana Tech Law Students, We Take Pride in Our Profession and Our Institution.
      We Shall Support and Have Compassion for Our Fellow Classmates, Administrators, and Faculty
      While Respecting Boundaries and Adhering to the Strict Ethics of Student Life.
      We Take This Oath Not Only For Ourselves But Also as an Example for Those Who Will Follow.

      Far too many capital letters for a place whose dean was once dougie fresh pond scum.

      Yes, they vowed to support the administrators and the faculty. At least that promise cannot be enforced against them.

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  20. The update appended to the article points to an article by a journalist named Wiehe who quotes Cercone of Indiana Tech as saying that Indiana Tech had not received a definitive statement on its initial bid for accreditation.

    Bullshit. Cercone knows damn well that Indiana Tech has been denied accreditation. Whether he has received a statement to that effect in black and white or not is beside the point. He is misleading the students (loan conduits).

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    1. He has to spin it as best he can. If not, how do you convince students not to try and transfer now or new students to show up in the Fall?

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    2. The committee only gets to recommend. The commission (or whatever the body is called that makes the actual decision) doesn't always do what the committee recommends, so technically he is right. He hasn't gotten a final decision.

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