Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Brooklyn Law to Offer Refund

Brooklyn Law has announced a new "Bridge to Success" program, which promises to refund 15% of paid tuition amounts to students who are still unemployed at 9 months.
"We have our ear to the ground," Brooklyn Law School President and Dean Nicholas Allard told CNNMoney. "Rather than continue to march over the cliff when a new direction is appropriate, we pay attention to what students want and need. The conventional legal education was passive and standardized. We've adopted a student-centric approach."

To qualify for the program, students must be working with career services and planning to take the bar exam. 
It's an interesting idea, although a skeptic would point out that 85% of an unmanageable shit-load of debt is still, alas, an unmanageable shit-load of debt.

According to the article, Brooklyn has a 90 percent "job placement" record and has budgeted for 10% of its students to take "advantage" of this offer.  But one has to wonder whether the presence of this program will change those output numbers.  Whatever intangible incentives law graduates have previously had to whitewash their job status, Brooklyn just gave them a tangible reason to either tell the truth or distort their answers downward.

Law graduates might be dumb, but they're not that dumb.  Just as people learn to game government programs, graduates who are unemployed at seven, eight months aren't going to snap up a $45k job and forgo, say, a $15k check if they can hold until the nine-month cliff.  Absent a juicy offer, anyone with half a brain is going to purposefully firebomb interviews or offer to delay start dates.  People do a lot of dumb things, but they rarely leave money on a table.

And whose definition of employment are we using?  BLS says 90%.  LST puts it at a 52.4% employment score.  What about the 9.7% school funded?  The ~20% who took JD Advantage/"Professional" jobs?  And what does it mean to "work[] with career services?" Are they going to argue with their own struggling graduates about these things?

Read the fine print, kids, and be patient.  Law schools keep sweetening the pot, but there's a long way to go before a school like Brooklyn makes economic sense again, partial refund or not.

45 comments:

  1. Not unlike trying to fill out forms to get a $15 dollar rebate on a consumer item, I can only imagine the onerous hoops graduates will have to jump through with the CSO to get their $15k "rebate" on their lol skool education. Crooklyn has every incentive to renege on this offer through their nebulous terms and undefined conditions once the students have painted 90% of the bridge, or whatever contracts 101 analogy one likes to use.

    Go "network," amirite? And who really networks "enough," really? Otherwise, wouldn't they already have a job...? This stuff writes itself.

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    1. This is one major reason I don't trust IBR and the 20/25 year forgiveness. PSLF they might let through just because it's going to be less people, but government jobs pay well and most people on PSLF are just going to get a tremendous windfall.

      PSLF starts going through in about 2 years...it will be VERY interesting to see what happens.

      My guess? Can gets kicked down the road to 20 years, with the government (correctly) arguing there is no reliance, no contract, and no harm. Public sector pays more than private sector now and it will be impossible to show anyone was harmed for taking public sector work over a (non-existent) private sector position.

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    2. Exactly. They're going to phase that chit out or change it so much it won't even be recognizable or worthwhile.. IBR/PAYE now REPAYE. And I'm not so sure about PSLF lasting. Check out this snippet from Wikipedia:

      For his 2015 budget proposal to Congress, President Barack Obama proposed capping Public Service Loan Forgiveness at $57,500 for all new borrowers.[7] Analysis at website Educated Risk, however, details the difficulty of modifying PSLF:[8]

      Historically, current beneficiaries will be grandfathered
      As a Federal Statute, PSLF modification undergoes Congressional legislation
      Borrowers have a legal right to a hearing

      The 2016 Republican budget resolution proposes to eliminate the PSLF program to all new student loan borrowers.

      It won't be 20 years. More like 5, 10 max, IMO. Not a good time to be signing on the dotted line..

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  2. I think that they will have to rework the details. According to the Brooklyn Law website,

    "Under the program, if graduates have not found jobs of their choice nine months after graduation, they will receive a lump sum payment of 15 percent of their total tuition costs paid while attending BLS. "

    Probably the vast majority of the actual students who found jobs, did not find "jobs of their choice." Is Brooklyn going to cut 90% of their graduates a check?

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    1. Ah, but here we have what some economists would call "revealed preference." If they're working at a shitty fast food job, they must have chosen to do so. So it's technically the job of their choice!

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    2. That sounds like the formulation of contract as a "meeting of the minds", as if every contract reflected what the parties thereto wanted.

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    3. ALERT, Crooklyn has already changed the language on their web page. The new language says:

      "Under the program, if graduates have not found full-time professional positions nine months after graduation, they will receive a lump sum payment of 15 percent of their total out-of-pocket tuition costs paid while attending the Law School."

      I suspect that they will keep reworking it until they can claim that actually whoever you are, you don't qualify. Now, instead of not having "jobs of their choice" if the graduates have any kind of offer for a "full-time professional position" (doesn't have to be in law), then they don't get the 15%. The next amendment will probably read "full-time position."

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    4. And what about "out-of-pocket"? Does that exclude amounts paid with student loans?

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    5. Crooklyn's criteria has changed significantly after 48 hours of announcing this bit of feel-good application enticement. Crooklyn went from the criteria of "not found jobs of their choice" to "not found full-time professional position." Then they went from refunding "15 percent of their total tuition costs paid" to "15 percent of their total out-of-pocket tuition costs paid." We have absolutely no idea what is included in out-of-pocket costs as it's a conveniently vague term which may/may not include government loans, private loans, particular grants, etc.

      Obviously, the administration gave little thought to the details of the program before announcing it and seem to want to keep the details as vague as possible. The administration should not run a lemonade stand much less a law school.

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    6. "Does that exclude amounts paid with student loans?"

      Yeah, if the student paid for school with student loans, wouldn't the goverment have an interest in the rebate proceeds (especially once the loans are in repayment)?

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    7. It's not, I think, that they gave little thought to the program. In fact, I would guess it's just the opposite. They know what percentage of their graduates are employed FT within 9 months. They can calculate what the program will cost them to pay out, etc. and run different scenarios. They are, in my opinion, putting this out there to do one thing: Try and divert as much Fed. student loan money away from other schools as possible and to themselves. It's a contest right now for student loan money and that is their goal - to get as much as possible. They can change the terms at will as one poster above commented and probably make it so whoever you are, you won't qualify for getting any money back. Remember, no schools have lost in court. They'll do what they do and it'll be just skirting the bounds of legality so that they can keep the money. In other words, doing what they have done best in the past: Running legalized thievery, getting that student loan money which is all they care about.

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    8. Don't the loans go directly to the school? Then how could this be out-of-pocket?

      This is just another way that the poorer students will subsidize the wealthier students. If a student pays cash, they will receive a greater refund than one who took out loans.

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  3. If no students at all were working, Brooklyn Law School could pay for the program simply by raising tuition by 15 percent. Since roughly 20 percent of students are likely to qualify, the school will only need to raise tuition by 3 percent to break even.

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  4. "Read the fine print, kids, and be patient. Law schools keep sweetening the pot, but there's a long way to go before a school like Brooklyn makes economic sense again, partial refund or not."

    If tuition was $5 per year, it'd be too much..

    Coming from this dump, a Brooklyn law degree is a shitstain on both one's resume and one's life. And you're in NY with 15 other law schools and Harvard and Yale in close proximity and their graduates looking in large part to enter the NY(C) market because CT Biglaw ?? and Mass = Boston = small and insular.

    I agree with Dupre Non-Tradizionale.. Ze terms of ze contract, she is ze nebulous, no? Ze refuns may not eh-pine ho-ho-ho (French-style laugh)

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  5. Is this another cross subsidy where the poor who have to work are subsidizing the rich who can hold out for the job of their choice, just as those who score low on the LSAT subsidize those who score high (as they have to pay full freight where as the high scorers get a tuition reduction)?

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  6. Unless doc review counts as a "job" I assume their placement is closer to 25%...at best.

    NYC is already extremely saturated and a destination for the T14 and many higher ranked schools. Why would anyone hire a Crooklyn graduate? Especially when you can hire an HYS grad these days, or at worst a Fordham grad, or even out of BU or BC and other close schools.

    There are so many law schools in this country but there are only about 3 areas with any type of jobs, and the northeast is one of those destinations.

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    1. "Unless doc review counts as a "job" I assume their placement is closer to 25%...at best. "

      I would not even bet my bottle return slip that they won't count that as 'professional legal work'.

      -Barry

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    2. Some graduates of lower ranked schools get jobs, even at big firms, and are very successful. Just that the odds are probably not that good.

      You have to remember, HYSCCN are not relevant once a lawyer hits age 45 or 50, At that point, a nubile 32 year old from Brooklyn who landed in a good starting job will be likely to beat the more credentialed lawyer for many jobs. You have to understand the age discrimination factor in law to understand why a graduate of a low ranked school actually may be better off than the older top law school graduates.

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  7. I think that they should have a wheel to spin which has different percentages all the way up to 100. I also think a coupon book for restaurants should be provided. Of course, if you are already working at one or more fast food establishments then an employee discount will follow.

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  8. I am thinking of this place as a zombie school. Should have been dead a long time ago. When are some of these places actually going to fold?

    As others have said, this is a crappy school in a saturated job market in one of the world's most expensive cities. If they want to do something positive they should just close down.

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  9. "Just as people learn to game government programs, graduates who are unemployed at seven, eight months aren't going to snap up a $45k job and forgo, say, a $15k check if they can hold until the nine-month cliff. Absent a juicy offer, anyone with half a brain is going to purposefully firebomb interviews or offer to delay start dates. People do a lot of dumb things, but they rarely leave money on a table."

    Keep in mind that the commode known as Crooklyn Law School enrolls defective brains.

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  10. "...graduates who are unemployed at seven, eight months aren't going to snap up a $45k job and forgo, say, a $15k check if they can hold until the nine-month cliff. Absent a juicy offer, anyone with half a brain is going to purposefully firebomb interviews or offer to delay start dates. People do a lot of dumb things, but they rarely leave money on a table."

    Yes, because when somebody who's not all that employable gets a job offer, the prospective employer has no problem whatsoever kicking the start date down the road a month or two.


    -Barry

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    1. It's not like these people will ever be practicing law. We all know that job offer coming at seven months out of school is going to be at McDonald's.

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    2. Maybe... Maybe not. Apparently getting a job at McDonald's is harder than getting into the Ivy League [1]. A Crooklyn grad had a hard time with the latter, and will probably have a hard job with the former.

      [1] http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-12/getting-job-mcdonalds-harder-getting-accepted-ivy-league

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    3. Anon from 7-15 again; that article is genuinely disturbing. Especially the kicker that they have invented a burger-flipping machine. Our future is Judge Dredd, with massive unemployment and crime.

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  11. It all boils down to what people are willing to do for money. If you will do anything, it's easy to make money and become "successful." These people are willing to ruin young people's lives; there are some people in the world that are willing to kill. Your worldly "success" in the legal "profession" (and maybe in society as a whole) depends a great deal on where you draw the line. Matthew 16:26.

    Keep fighting the good fight, scambloggers.

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    1. This is quite true. There are good lawyers but there are no "good" lawyers.

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  12. And they have the unmitigated gall to call this scheme "Bridge to Success". At best it is a bridge to welfare.

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  13. Cui bono? Actually, it's the career services department as their budget will likely increase since graduates wanting this refund will be forced to work with these "professionals" who couldn't help them get a job while they were students.

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  14. The comparison to medical schools is made frequently on this blog, but I'll make it again.....could you imagine ANY medical school offering to refund a percentage of students' tuition if they can't find a residency slot after graduation? Yes, I know that a few students do fail to get matched with a residency each year, but the national total is probably fewer people than the number of unemployed law grads from a single TTT law school.

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    1. Let's also remember that medical schools, unlike law schools, actually are expensive to operate. A law school could be run with a modest library, some adjuncts, and a few sticks of chalk.

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    2. And the faculty would have had substantial practice experience.

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    3. I've actually thought about setting up a bare-bones law school and limiting admission to people with an LSAT score of 160 or greater. Those with demonstrated ability to read, write, and think (not to be taken for granted even at LSAT scores of 170 and up) would be eligible for a correspondence course that would cost even less.

      Of course, right now I oppose the creation of any more law schools, for any purpose.

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    4. The best comparison between law schools and medical schools is to compare U.S. law schools that do not have high placement rates to Caribbean medical schools, where it really is hard to get a residency. You enroll in both at your peril.

      In the past there were Ivy-type graduates with strong GPAs who were wait listed at all U.S. medical schools because they were just below the cut off, and they went Caribbean. Now, with more medical school slots opening in the U.S., fewer of the high quality people will end up in the Caribbean.

      It is possible not to get a residency from a U.S. medical school, but it often relates more to how people apply, and can sometimes be fixed by trying a second time.

      The big problem with residencies is the rash of visas being issued. The United States is paying to train the world's doctors and rejecting our own medical school graduates.

      There are a number of residency programs that are all non-U.S. medical school graduates. Since there are U.S. medical school graduates without a residency, it seems that these programs may discriminate against graduates of U.S. medical schools and/ or against U.S. citizens.


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  15. OTLSS Question: How many hits a day are you guys averaging? It looks pretty damn high for a niche blog with no promotion. CONGRATS!!

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  16. The New President of the Florida Bar wants to open up the practice of law to Non Florida Lawyers and allow Non-Lawyer Owners of Law Firms. I can tell you the trial attorneys are up in arms over this.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQisk0sinnY

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  17. Holy shit, Indiana Tech is on the brink:

    http://www.kpcnews.com/business/latest/kpcnews/article_17684b90-78b6-502e-888c-4a7f488fce2c.html?mode=jqm

    They have eliminated tuition for every single one of the poor souls who has agreed to stay for the coming year while they make a last ditch effort to receive accreditation. Their goal is to have 20 students in this year's incoming class, but you know how they are at meeting goals...

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    1. What does this mean for the person who won the $5,000 scholarship raffle? If I were him/her, I would demand that Indian Tech pay me $5K for attending, or at least give me a set of Dr. Dre headphones.

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    2. LOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!!

      "'Obviously, in the posture we’re in this year, I don’t expect that to improve,' he said. 'We would like to have 20 students in the incoming class, and that’s what we’re shooting for.'

      As an added enticement, the university is giving 100-percent scholarships to every single student enrolled there next year."

      What a fucking retard! He "hopes" for a whole 20 - 20?!?!?!?!???wtf??? - students to enroll (as 1Ls I assume) next year? That's fucking pathetic!

      And bribing those 'tards with 100% scholarships (and the article is ambiguous - is it new enrollees only?) is moronic.

      In the words of the great Gordon Ramsey, SHUT IT DOWN, YOU DONKEYS!

      P.s. only a total cunt would go to SHITLS. Maybe it's time to name and shame the 'tard mongoloids who drag their fists along the sidewalk on their way to "class" at this "school".

      Can someone please post a picture of a "short bus" with the words "Indiana Tech Skule of Lore" on the side please?

      I don't know who is the biggest retard. "Dean" WhateverTheFuckThatCunt'sNameIsWhoUsedto"Work"AtCooley, or the kids who enlist at that turd school who were doubtless in the "special education" department at the Alabama School for Down Syndrome Mongoes and who the gormless 'almond-eyed' retards used to beat up for being too fucking stupid to keep up. Yeah that might not be "PC" and whatever, but anyone spending three years of their life at "Indiana Tech Spastic Asylum" clearly has some mental issues that are not normal.

      HELLO!!!!!!! WAKE THE FUCK UP!!!!!!

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    3. Thanks, 7:22, for drawing this news to my attention.

      Indiana Tech has finally hired someone to help its hopeless students to find jobs. Just a few weeks ago I pointed out that Indiana Tech had not even one person dedicated to that task—but did have a full-time recruiter of new student-loan conduits. Mind you, the prospects of Indiana Tech's orange-yellow centurions won't be any better now there is, in principle, a functioning "career services" office.

      And note that the ABA called for "academic support"—in other words, remedial help for Indiana Tech's generally muttonheaded class.

      And the ABA wasn't satisfied with the quality of the students that Indiana Tech admits. Perhaps Dougie Fresh will have to stop saying that 143 is a "serviceable" LSAT score.

      By dropping tuition to zero, they have only proven that their law school is worthless.

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  18. Everyone considering law school should read this article. In 5 years, 50% of the now practicing lawyers will be replaced by software.

    https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/silicon-valley-companys-software-starting-divorces-other-court-180545454.html

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    1. Exactly!

      Great catch 2:13 PM.

      And I saw this as well:

      http://jdunderground.com/all/thread.php?threadId=92756

      But, you know, then there's Pace with it's 3 + 3 program. Come out $250,000 in debt at 24-25-26. It'll be no problem - no problem - paying that off and living a middle-class lifestyle.

      Riiiight...

      It's like, I was looking at franchises last night and found this site:

      http://www.unhappyfranchisee.com/

      No one really cares if you succeed or not. In fact, some want you to fail. They'll just re-sell the franchise that much sooner. And looking at the percentages they want off the top, I don't see it as a way to make good profit when Corporate is only interested in grabbing their share.

      Well, forget all of that.. Now has never been a better time to go to law school or college..

      Riiight...

      No. No one cares because those in protected positions get to say they are providing low-cost legal services and meeting the unmet need and closing the "justice gap" etc. while they pull in 6 figures per year doing jack. Meanwhile, your life, the one that matters, is destroyed in the Grand Scheme.

      Everything today is a scam. Everything.

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    2. Oh, and check this out from that site. One guy lost close to 500,000 on a "The Maids" franchise.. Wow.. That's mind-numbing Epic Fail.

      http://www.unhappyfranchisee.com/maids-franchise-complaints/

      And here's his site:

      http://themaidsfranchisestartupfailure.com/

      Note the language:

      "When we attended Discovery Day (if you don't know yet that is the visit to the Omaha headquarters where The Maids decides whether you are allowed to purchase a franchise) we were sold a "dream". Colin said "franchises are handed down from father to son" and it sounded like the opportunity of a lifetime. Eighteen months later, we know that we were sold a dream but we bought a nightmare. Almost half a million dollars are gone, we are totally and completely exhausted after a period of the hardest work of our lives and we were not able push the business past break even for a sustained period. Perhaps the best description of the experience came from my wife Marlene who said "it sucks all the joy out of life"."

      Sounds a lot like what law schools do, right?

      You are being sold a Dream - but end up with a nightmare. And, unlike this story, you CAN'T discharge the debt and go bankrupt..

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