Thursday, September 17, 2015

Something Fishy at the University of Tulsa School of Law.

"Whether or not any of these "harpoons" find their marks in the students’ minds is a matter of some luck as well as skill (or so I tell myself). . ."-- University of Tulsa Law Prof. Tamara Piety.

Why should someone enroll at 82nd-ranked University of Tulsa School of Law, where students graduate with an average interest-accruing debt load of $100,000, not counting undergraduate debt? Because at Tulsa, as at no other law school, the law student will read a chapter from Herman Melville's classic Moby Dick in Civil Procedure class-- specifically Chapter 89, "Fast-Fish and Loose-Fish." This is due to the inspired pedagogy of University of Tulsa law professor Tamara Piety. Through Ishmael's brief discourse on aquatic fair game and imperialism, the Tulsa legal fledglings will learn one of the most profound secrets of our profession, namely that [lock the doors, draw the shades, send the children to their rooms, speak in shocked whispers] the law is often fashioned, interpreted, and applied to favor the powerful.

Naturally, Professor Piety wrote a law review article extolling the merits of her innovative class assignment. See Something Fishy: Or Why I Make My Students Read Fast Fish And Loose Fish, 29 VT. L. REV. 33 (2004). She also scored a trip to New York City to give a presentation on the article at a "Law, Culture & Humanities" conference. (See Piety's CV, Item No. 72 under "Presentations/Conferences). No wonder Professor Piety holds such a lofty opinion of "the utility of [legal] scholarship." (See here and here). Indeed, not only is this particular article useful, but its  fortunate readers, probably consisting mostly of other law professors, will surely take sympathetic enjoyment in the droll little wisecracks of a much put-upon legal scholar trying to drag her chowderheaded students into the light.

In the article, Piety mocks the stupidity of her students, noting that they often fail to realize that Melville meant "fast" in the sense of "fastened," rather than in the sense of "speedy." See e.g. Something Fishy at 37 ("Alas, the students come to us with little refinement in the use of their principal tool—the language. Thus, they greet this reading with the misconception that it has something to do with fish racing or racing fish."); Id. at 37 ("[A]lthough they might well think "racy fish" if they thought of yet another alternative for "fast" and "loose""). 

However, Piety does not mention that part of the problem might be that her institution, the University of Tulsa, accepts students with appallingly mediocre scores on the LSAT-- a test which, for all its faults, provides an assessment of reading comprehension and logic. Tulsa's most recent entering class had a median LSAT of 154 and a 25th percentile score of 151.

As well, Professor Piety uses the article as a platform to engage in some understandable bragging and name-dropping "by way of background" (Id. at 35) as to the intellectual road that led her to such unorthodoxy in the civil procedure classroom. The story can be summarized as follows: Piety went to Harvard for an LLM to help her get a job in legal academia after reluctantly embracing her professors' belief that she was well-suited to teach law.  At Harvard, she read Moby Dick after hearing it praised by her favorite professor, Cornell West, in a seminar that West co-taught with Roberto Unger. Maybe not the most compelling anecdote, but the Piety still managed to milk it for 2½ pages of her 17-page article.

In "Fast-Fish and Loose-Fish," Melville finds universal applicability in the whaler's code: "A fast fish belongs to the party fast to it. A loose fish is fair game for anybody who can soonest catch it." Tamara Piety hopes, and so do I, that her students "may dimly begin to grasp the concepts therein and be enriched thereby." Id. at 34.

For instance, what is an idealistic but naive high school or college kid to a scamming law professor or law dean, but a loose fish? And what to that same scamming law professor or law dean is a class, even one filled with students of "little refinement," but fast fish-- or, shall I say, an all-you-can-eat fish fry?

Below are some quotes from the article, which was written in a style that was clearly intended to be jocular, tongue-in-cheeky, and reminiscent of the ornate prose favored by Melville and his contemporaries. I found it smug, affected, and deeply condescending. Alas, Dear Readers.


1. "After I’ve explained myself more fully in these pages, you, dear Reader, may also come to see my way of looking at it. After all, if clarity of purpose and intelligibility of the materials were the touchstones of "present-ability" of the readings we give to students, we should end by giving them nothing at all! Or so it often seems in reading legal materials (particularly late-twentieth-century statutes). So I am not surprised when I’m reading exams and I come across yet another illustration that some central piece of information in the course has slipped by the student almost in its entirety." Something Fishy at 34.

2. "Thus, one answer to the question, "Why do I make them read this chapter?", is "Because it’s good for them!" Besides, there is always the chance that one or two of them, or perhaps a whole crew, may dimly begin to grasp the concepts therein and be enriched thereby. At least that is my hope." Id.

3. "At any rate, I find there are several pedagogical purposes to be served by this reading, purposes which I set before you so you can judge for yourself. Whether or not any of these "harpoons" find their marks in the students’ minds is a matter of some luck as well as skill (or so I tell myself), so I cannot promise that your results will be any better than mine. But it will enliven the process of this Sisyphean task we call law teaching. At least I have found it so." Id. at 34-35.

4.  Still, when I am reading exams and I come across some reference to how such and such agrees with "the rule of fast fish and loose fish" or why Melville would "hold" such and such, I feel no special remorse that I’ve burdened them with some reading that they obviously didn’t understand. Such observations tend to join with many others of a similar ilk, drawn from the more traditional materials, in a veritable "school" of malapropisms and misstatements with which exams are generally filled."  Id. at 34.

5.  "It so happened that some years after graduating from law school I came around to the belief offered by my professors, and promptly ignored by me at the time (in the time-honored tradition of youth), that I might, after all, like teaching law. . . I took the plunge and found myself in amongst a school of young strivers known as Harvard Law School. What exhilaration! What terror! Yet despite the many moments of self-doubt and self-examination (which I discovered I shared with most of my young colleagues), it was thrilling. Just the tonic to blow the cobwebs from the brains and banish morbid thoughts! A bracing intellectual breeze blows there at all times and if you are standing in it you can’t help but be swept up. And I was. Gladly. One particular breeze, hurricane more like, was the venerable Cornell West, from whom I took a class called "American Democracy...In this course, West was wont to refer to Melville as the "greatest American author" and Moby Dick as a "masterpiece." Id. at 35-36.

6. "Alas, the students come to us with little refinement in the use of their principal tool—the language. Thus, they greet this reading with the misconception that it has something to do with fish racing or racing fish, (although they might well think "racy fish" if they thought of yet another alternative for "fast" and "loose"). Id. at 37.

7. "One of the first challenges for my students in grasping the meaning of this reading is a seemingly trivial one at first glance, but upon closer inspection is revealed as a harbinger of a key skill to be learned—the enlargement of one’s vocabulary and the necessity, in this pursuit, of looking things up!" Id. at 37.

8. "However, despite their general belief that the law professor’s job is to mystify not to clarify, I agree that I do want to shed light on the subject for my students. However, I also view it as my responsibility to challenge them, to push them to, and then past, what they previously thought were their intellectual limits."  Id. at 34.



  1. If law school cost 5-10k a year, as it should, this would not be a big issue. But the fact that lower-ranked and overpriced toilets are charging the cost of a 4 bedroom house for a piece of paper that is economically worthless makes this piece of scholarshit embarrassing to the entire profession. I have a fucking library card, and I can read Moby Dick if I want to. The point of law school should be to train lawyers to actually practice law. Other than the 1st year of basic Anglo-American caselaw study, the entire 3 years is a total waste of time. Fuck the ABA and the "self-regulating" bullshit that qualifies as leadership.

  2. We shouldn't be too surprised Professor Piety (among many others) disdain the students they purport to teach. Most con artists have nothing but contempt for the suckers they swindle.

    1. To tell the truth, I too have contempt for most law students. And why shouldn't I?

    2. Hmmm...I don't know...because they're human?

      I'm hoping to save their lives, not gloat at their stupidity.

  3. A devastating critique of minor-league legal scholarship. At first I though it was another brilliant parody by Dybbuk. Then I realized it was simply more clueless self-parody by an idle attention-seeker. No wonder she gets along so well with Professor Leiter.

    1. This thread really needs one of Maurice's poems...perhaps one inspired by Melville.

    2. I think Maurice has a lot of material to work with here. Something about hunting virgins with a purple harpoon? Or hunting the hunters after they blow their spouts?

    3. Was it her who disclosed the IP addresses in the aduren fiasco, do you think? One of the most plausible candidates for sure.

    4. Man v. Beast
      By Maurice Leiter

      Call me, Ishmael.
      No, seriously, call me. You left your anal beads at my place.

      But reader: no, I’m not gay.
      To demonstrate, I shall fantasize and prey
      in a non-rapey way
      up the imaginary delights of a wonderful white wha-
      -le, the Phyllis Hurley Frey

      Let me dream "man dreams" for you:
      Thar she blows!
      Suckling on Penis a la Leiter.
      Let me stream for you,
      my sweet Liebfraumilch of Law flowing,
      nay, pulsing mannishly and non-gayishly,
      Whale of Law benevolently feeds beastlike professorette
      from my ballsy, stiff “breast”,
      like mother feeding hungry, gulping child,
      like lesser professors reading my scholarship.

      Oh, Ishmael, were you here to impregnate me with your beads, insolent child!
      To mob me with your dick!

      No! Again, no! No gayness!
      Man as man can be, that’s me.
      Straight as an arrow.
      My eyes closed, see
      once more pretend professorette on bended knee,
      poon lapping my ferrous harpoon,
      rope of stringly sperm from tip to tongue
      as she pulls away. No, not gay!

      And so not gay that I’ll enjoy a “vaginal” treat.
      Lubed anus open wide, I fire my harpoon inside.
      Yes! Rubber and ribbed, it strikes, pierces, hits home.
      I reel up, whalelike in the sea of my bed,
      hand to rear, pumping,
      Then reeling out bead after bead, hauling myself in.
      Here I come.

      An unbroken circle,
      yet so logical and deep:
      whale harpoons self, hauls its own lifeless body
      aboard the Pequod,
      fight to the orgasm over, skin slippery.
      Yet whale is also professor:
      one a foolish beast, the other a creature of vast and unappreciated intelligence,
      the only commonalities being
      blubber and whiteness and unaccountability.
      Ever so philosophical, so many levels,
      like a snake eating its own tail
      (note to self: must practice flexibility)
      or an ant rising and falling.

      Er, Ishmael? Forget my last message.
      I’ll need to wash these beads again before you swing by to pick them up.

    5. Oh my god. This is utterly childish and disgraceful.

      Yet these "poems" remain, in my very humble and grown up opinion, some of the most genuinely laugh-out-loud funny things on the entire internet.

      Thanks yet again for adding a few moments of levity to my otherwise debt-saddled shitlaw existence.

    6. Do you think Leiter (Maurice or Brian - or are they the same person???) reads these verses and chuckles and shakes his head in a "oh you guys!" kind of way, or is he furious for days afterwards and plotting some sock-puppet led internet scheme for revenge?

      Because you fucking KNOW he reads this site.

      Hai Brian!!!

    7. "Yet whale is also professor: / one a foolish beast, the other a creature of vast and unappreciated intelligence"

      Nice chiasmus.

    8. I think the pressure of public debate is too much for Leiter. He had a major online breakdown a few weeks ago, trying to spite Campos and making an utter fool of himself.

    9. I hope no one was offended by Maurice's vile, despicable poetry. Let me assure everyone that it was employed as a necessary defensive tactic in the public debate over law schools. Any lawyer can tell you that pornography (dealing with adults, mind you) is the only fully protected medium of expression remaining in America, and especially in Canada. Without the erotic patina of Maurice's poetry, insecure professors at ineffective law schools could easily hatch a malicious plot to haul us all into a Canadian court.

      In this case as in others, Maurice has proven himself a staunch warrior for freedom. We owe him our respect and gratitude.

    10. Nice word of the day, Old Guy! Chiasmus had me cracking the dictionary. Or Googling it.

    11. We couldn't use that word at the U of Tulsa, where the students don't even know what fast means.

    12. One of the most popular graffiti in my high school was "Moby Dick is not a Social Disease."

      I would only add, after all these years, that frivolous law school "scholarship" and the mountain of student debt that pays for it are devastating social diseases. They affect every aspect of life: work, sleep, learning, relationships, nutrition, housing, fertility, and so forth, and always in a negative way.

      Professor Piety is not only displaying obvious contempt for her students in and out of the classroom. She's ruining their lives. The comorbidity of those two malignant attitudes shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.

  4. That article is not only frivolous and childish. It's additional evidence of the unconscionable exploitation at lower-level law schools. If Professor Piety had a shred of dignity left, she'd resign today, and then work three real jobs until she's repaid every one of her students.

  5. Why doesn't someone do the right thing and close down that law school? Oklahoma needs one law school, not three.

  6. Love the pic. It makes it look like Piety is gleefully ready to ram that harpoon right up the backside of all her unsuspecting marks/students. Which she clearly does, according to her own condescending, self-righteous rhetoric.

  7. This post should be read by all the students in all the Professor's classes just so they understand the level of contempt she has for them. They certainly shouldn't read it for any insight it might give them. Good on ya Dybbuk for reading it and sparing us the pain!

    I have a relative who is a law school professor. He has told me on several occasions how much he hates the students he teaches and I don't think he's atypical. There were a number of professors at my Toilet who looked upon us with contempt.

    I think the professors in a typical Toilet might find 4 or 5 students they like and view the rest the way you might view the turd that fails to flush the first time. Remember that Lemmings.

    But honestly, are we really trying to reach the unconverted now? I think this blog should continue to have fresh posts and Dybbuk is great to read, but the Lemmings enrolled now at the vast majority of law schools are just idiots. They have to be. There is no logical reason for 75% of attendees to be in law school. The information about these chumps has been out there for 4+ years, more if you count L4L, Nando, etc.

    Maybe we need to have a series of important posts before the crucial decision point, just before 1L fall grades come out. That's when most 1Ls will find out for sure that they have made a horrible mistake. Maybe that's when we should focus our efforts? I'd be happy to contribute a post with personal anecdotes.

    1. Maybe we need to have a series of important posts before the crucial decision point, just before 1L fall grades come out.

      That is worth it. But the sad thing is that a few students will come out with jobs, while the rest think that with just a few more semesters they'll be able to get their GPA up to snuff (not that this matters much after OCI).

    2. I'm not sure if we can rescue anyone from the scam after their first semester. The schools deliberately withhold the grades until all the loan documents are signed.

      The really crucial period is the spring and summer of the first year. The grades are gradually coming out, most students know their first summer jobs are trivial or's a time for existential anguish and serious reflection.

      I say we hit them hard with practical dropping-out advice during April, May, and all summer long. We could probably save a few hundred lives.

    3. The really crucial period, of course, is the time before the person applies to law schools. By the first year, the battle is often lost. Having sunk a year, and tens of thousands of borrowed dollars, into the project, most people won't give up.

    4. Things used to be different.

      For example, I graduated a second tier toilet with a 2.74 GPA back in 2002 (this was slightly above the 25th percentile). I still managed to get a job, and my salary climbed to 6-figures within 6 years.

      Clearly, this is not a "great" job. I'm not arguing cases before the Supreme Court or anything remotely as prestigious, but my law school investment did pay off financially.

      Of course, this was back in 2002. You can't replicate this luck today.

  8. OT: "Bar Exam Scores Drop to Their Lowest Point in Decades"

  9. Dybbuk is a far better scholar than all the TTT "professors' put together. He's the only one with enough knowledge, experience, patience, and reasoning skills to read the unreadable shit they throw at the student "editors."

    1. Jesus H Christ. Editing scholarshit is a dreadful job. When I edited one of the most highly regarded flagship law reviews, almost every submission that passed my desk got a scornful rejection.

      Three years ago at Inside the Law School Scam, I described scholarshit as "illiterate, irrelevant, trivial, tendentious, pretentious, pointless, incomprehensible, foolish, pompous, absurd, risible, inarticulate, naïve, self-contradictory, arrogant, irresponsible, slovenly, unscholarly, picayune, obfuscated, inconclusive, self-congratulatory, unfocused, wrong—or, in most cases, some combination of these". I must have been in a generous mood.

  10. There might actually be a good reason for Tamara Piety to assign this particular reading for her law school class. After all when a lemming enrolls in a third tier establishment they do play Fast and Loose (1) with their finances and career.

    I'm not entirely sure that law schools follow the law of fast and loose though described in Moby Dick though. They are very fastidious in adhering to the law of loose (2) in how they shamefully try to shill even the lowest quality students who still have enough credit to get student loans. But with the Raiding Parties (3) that law schools love to afflict slightly worse law schools with tells me that is no fast fish in law school, at least not until they get out and find that there are no jobs for third tier grads.


  11. Fast students and loose students. When I was in law school, I tended to seek out both.

    A contract calling for the delivery of a fast fish would permit the delivery of one fastened, I suppose.

    What a jerk.

  12. There is no way an article like this would be published in any other academic field. Peer reviewed journals would require at the very least a control group, measurable outcomes, and multivariate analysis that holds constant variations in demographics, students, and teachers. Likely, they would require much, much more (pre-test/post-test and the like). They would also require an ex-ante theory that might lead someone to believe whatever teaching enhancement was studied might actually work.

    What complete junk.

    What an embarrassment to the Academy.

    1. The Academy is beyond embarrassment.

    2. Peer reviewed journals would require at the very least...measurable outcomes

      What better than law school to demonstrate that measurable outcomes are irrelevant?

    3. The academy is an embarrassment.

      Few legal hackademics know the first thing about scientific methods, statistics, the design of experiments, or controls. They live in a pseudo-intellectual world that spurns rigor in favor of personal narratives and impressions. Piety, for example, does not seek to determine the best approaches to legal pedagogy; after all, they might well entail more effort on her part, not to mention knowledge or skills that surpass her competence (such as it is). No, she wants only to attach her name to a cutesy gimmick.

    4. Well yeah, just look at Simkovic's arguments. They wouldn't pass muster in a statistics 101 class. Any one with any scientific training can spot the faults in Simkovic's arguments a mile away. Simkovic is like Clay Davis from the Wire. A master Bullsh$t artist.

      You have to have a decent Bullshit detector to realize Simkovic is lying through his teeth about the benefits of a JD, but undergraduate schools don't teach their charges how to really think. So a lot of people who should know better get confused by the whole Campos-Simkovic "debate" and just tune out.

      Now Leiter on the other hand reminds me of Screwtape. He is unable to maintain his facade whilst arguing a point and immediately turns into a black centipede- hence, he has others like Simkovic do his bidding.

    5. Simkovic should be fired for incompetence, dishonesty, or both.

    6. I think there's a built-in punishment for Simkovic's work. He obviously wants to draw a huge paycheck from an elite school, but elite schools don't like to pimp their degrees quite so openly and crassly as Sim is doing.

      His punishment is likely to be a lifelong nightmare of stress and anxiety, stuck at a declining school in downtown Newark with no raises or summer stipends. Leiter already tried and failed to get Simkovic a better job. All that's left for Leiter is to pit Sim against Campos while secretly despising both of them for not being at Chicago.

    7. That's not much of a punishment. Simkovic belongs in the eighth circle of Hell.

    8. What are you people talking about?

      Simkovic's ego is so huge, he probably thinks Seton Hall is the "Harvard of New Jersey." He probably thinks his presence there makes it Harvard-like.

      These type of people do not realize how stupid they look and sound. They live and work in a totally insulated world where they go unchallenged, and they simply dismiss any challenge by attacking the challengers.

    9. "These type of people do not realize how stupid they look and sound. They live and work in a totally insulated world where they go unchallenged, and they simply dismiss any challenge by attacking the challengers."

      You are so right. I don't think they can imagine the contempt with which practicing lawyers hold them. It simply does not permeate their bubble. It is amazing to me that these professors hold themselves above us, the actual, practicing lawyers. I confess---it baffles me. (Not that I'm saying practicing lawyers are above anyone---except law professors, of course.)

    10. These professors probably think they're doing the world a huge service by teaching.

      The general belief when I was in law school was that the professors could be making millions working the private sector. Today, we all know this is rubbish, but I bet the professors have not yet gotten the memo.

      Hence, the ego.

    11. In my first year of law school, a professor privately complained to me about many students' sense of entitlement. And he was right. But he could have found a sense of entitlement just by looking in the mirror.

  13. Weren't some of the medieval depictions of Hell tailored to the nature of the sin? For Simkovic, I would imagine the dominant sin is pride or superbia. So his punishment is to be trapped in Newark, yet tantalized by elite law schools just across the Hudson River that won't hire him. Always waiting. always hoping, and always treated with scorn and pity by his elite colleagues. That would be an excruciating punishment for someone like Simkovic, and I think he deserves it.

    Then after this life, when all the profs see the alcoholism, the depression, the impotence, the dangerous and polluted environments, the cheap and unhealthy and disgusting food they inflicted on their debt-ridden students...then I think Hell can begin in earnest.

    1. Yes. Dante, for example, famously divided the Inferno into different levels by type of sin.

      A better punishment for Simkovic is loss of employment. Let him put his "million-dollar degree" to the test.

      Élite law schools across the Hudson? There are only one or two, unless you go all the way to New Haven or Cambridge.

    2. That's a very nice fantasy to have Simkovic looking for a job along with his hapless students. And if he has to mislead thousands of students to get a few of them to fund his dysfunctional Seton Hall job, then the world will be a better place if he loses it.

      But what that would take at this point is closing down Seton Hall law school entirely. How do you propose to do that?

    3. Don't get too far ahead of yourselves!

      People like Simkovic always seem to do well. I'm sure he'll find something to do where he'll continue to be overpaid.

    4. I think you're right that Simkovic can continue to be overpaid. I also think he's willing to do whatever it takes to keep the cash rolling in.

      But at this point, what Mr. Sim would have to do is this:

      (1) Openly and forcefully sever his ties to Brian Leiter. Acknowledge that Leiter's blog and his professorship have had a damaging effect on law schools and the legal profession, not to mention that the lives, relationships, and health of thousands of students have been ruined by law school propaganda. Apologize for enabling Leiter to abuse and defame hundreds of decent individuals in the legal and philosophical communities.

      (2) Renounce the faulty reasoning and false conclusions of the "Million Dollar Law Degree" fiasco. Admit that his critics were correct both logically and morally. Apologize for his greed in accepting tainted money from the Access Group and LSAC. Republish the study with proper motives and correct reasoning, to conclusively prove that most law degrees are worth far less than what is paid for them by students or the government. Complain about the unbearable pressures placed on professors at trashy law schools to support and validate the law school scam.

      Then. and only then, could Simkovic move up to an elite law school. He could actually play an important role in their emerging strategy to save their own cushy positions by denouncing the pretensions and excesses of scam schools like Denver, Tulsa, and Seton Hall. If I were Simkovic, I'd start planning for a brighter future immediately.

    5. That's a good point. By shilling for the Cooleys, Simkovic excludes himself from the Harvards. What would any respectable school want with a shameless huckster who spends his wretched days glorifying toilets?

      If he is rational (I entertain grave doubts about that), he must have concluded that he is stuck at Seton Hall, or a similar toilet, for the rest of his hackademic career. By touting toilets, he isn't trying to move up to an élite institution; he's just trying to save his own ass.

  14. It's such a scam. Tuition dollars go to pay for totally irrelevant research and salaries, but not for getting jobs and teaching skills.

  15. I was reading an exchange between a scam blog warrior and a law school professor (I think it was over one of the new NYT articles). Anyway, the pro scam blog guy kept pressing the law school professor to admit that there was a dramatic difference between the outcomes of Top law school graduates and those from the lower tier (and a result, examining the average was meaningless). After pressure, the law school professor conceded that although that might be the case, that wasn't the proper inquiry; instead, the proper inquiry is what options were present for prospective lower tier law school students other than law school. The implication being, of course, that the best they could do is law school.

    I've been on these blogs for years saying that that's where the final battle is going to be fought. As long as people believe there aren't other options other than law school, they'll keep attending.

    To wit, I point you to the following article: The average pay for a high school drop out, with no student loan debt, no business risk, no physical risk, minimal criminal background check, etc is about what I make with two professional degrees. Of course, I have no job security, pension, political protection, etc.

    Now, critics of this position will point out that the city's refusal to higher more workers is what is leading to the current level of compensation, but i can tear that argument to pieces (I won't for now).

    This is one city and one type of job, and mind you, this doesn't have any of the issues of other highly compensated city positions, ie firemen and cops, where at least the 1) job is tough and dsngerous, 2) the background check is rigorous, and 3) some education is required. There are many many big cities with many many jobs of this type. And before the chorus starts: no, you don't have to be connected to get these jobs. I know many people who got these jobs without connections, but hey, keep fucking that chicken. As long as the professors of the world can boil things down to you either get that over priced education or you will make minimum wages as a barista, then loads of lemmings will go to the slaughter to keep the professors well fed (courtesy of the U.S. Tax Payer of course).

    I know law school graduates with federal clerkships that make less than these Janitors. In fact, most lawyers I know make less than them. This profession is a complete and total fucking joke. It's such a joke that I'm starting to find myself sympathizing with the sociopath that keeps trolling the blog about making the lemmings oh back their debt. I mean, if these assholes want to go 250k in debt because picking up garbage for six figures isn't prestigious enough for them, fuck them. Let them be indentured servants for life.

    1. When it comes down to it, this notion of options fuels many of the problems surrounding education. I earned a college degree and make a good salary now. Despite that, many of my high school classmates who went into trades make as much or more than I do, while carrying no student debt.

      The problem is that we don't give kids a realistic appraisal of their options. Law school is a terrible choice, but many people believe it is better than whatever alternative there might be. What exactly led them to think this isn't the point, so much as it is false and they should not go.

      Part of what led me to go to college was that I did not fully understand there were serious career opportunities to be had elsewhere, or that career opportunities for the educated weren't all that great. For most lawyers, the career opportunities really aren't any better than if they never went to college at all. I say "most" because there is some career path in Biglaw, but the large majority of JDs have no hope of making it in there. For many of them, working at Starbucks would be better.

    2. Amen 10:34, but that's how this travesty still has legs. They still control the narrative on this point. In fact, even many of the scambloggers concentrate on the debt side of things (which is atrocious and the worst part of the scam), ie without the debt law school isn't that bad of a deal. I disagree. You don't get your twenties back and in today's super competitive private sector, a third tier degree can fuck you up even if you paid nothing for it.

    3. As long as the mainstream media and movies cast lawyers as living glamorous lives the scam will continue. It is so hard to fight the power of film and television images.

    4. I have been plain about it. At zero tuition, the U of Michigan might (I said might) be worth attending. Indiana Tech certainly is not.

  16. Moby-Dick indeed has a lot to say about law school....

    On a cold night, the narrator seeks shelter in the Spouter Inn and falls in with strange bedfellows....

    The sailors are explicitly warned before they board the Pequod, but fail to listen.....

    The vessel’s chief mate is named Starbuck, a likely future employer, and tries to talk Ahab out of his epic pursuit..... but nooo

    The whale eludes Ahab

    The sole survivor of the voyage survives by clinging onto a coffin.... and floating

    1. "Starbuck, a likely future employer"

  17. I spent the better part of Sunday researching an issue of first impression relating to Georgia's wrongful death statute, a widow (who controls the litigation) who is in prison, minor children scattered over three states, the apparent lack of authority for a Georgia court to appoint a pre-filing guardian ad litem for said minor children and the question of how to get three state courts on board for one conservator. (I have oversimplified and barely scratched the surface.)

    The point is, I would have been overjoyed to find one good law review article on the interplay between Georgia's rather unique wrongful death statute and the power of the courts to appoint a pre-filing guardian ad litem where the widow/mother is alive and in control of the litigation but separated from the minor children. Did I find such a law review article that had any relevance to my problem? Of course not! Why would I? This is a real-world legal conundrum. What would a law professor know of such a thing?

    Professor Piety, if you are reading this, you are utterly unworthy of respect. as a teacher and as a legal professional. You have the nerve to trash my profession, your students and poor Mr. Melville while drawing a six figure salary. What you write is indecipherable, not because your readers and students lack logic, comprehension and grasp of language, but because you are so lacking in these attributes yourself. Shame on you. You are taking up law review space that could be used by legitimate legal scholars such as Dyybuk and Old Guy and any number of the gifted commentators I find on this blog.

    1. What? You expect to find practical, usable, socially beneficial articles on topics that pertain to the hoi polloi? Why, that might take away valuable pages from my all-important new magnum opus, "Pseudo-Literary Approaches to a Neo-Rawlsian Reconception of the Nexus of Hip-Hop and the Open Road".

    2. I love that title, Old Guy. You could probably score tenure on the basis of that one title alone, regardless of whether the article was incoherent, self-referential nonsense.

  18. Would it ever be possible to organize a conference where we scammers could congregate each year and exchange ideas to advance our common goal of severely wounding the scam? An organization that could grow and serve as a counterweight to the ABA and the law schools. I know travel is expensive for many, but I think it would help present a more unified front.

    1. Great idea!

      Perhaps as an extension of this, we can advocate for legal education reform. Real, practicing lawyers (and former lawyers) offering their suggestions as to what a law school should look like, and what type of work law professors should really do when they're not lecturing.

      I know, I certainly have some very controversial ideas as to what law school should really look like.

    2. I would be there if I wasn't 130k in debt with $300 in my bank account. Please, if anyone has a voice, use it to help those of us who are screwed.

    3. This is a great idea. Legal education reform needs to be motivated in the first instance by legal practice.

    4. Good thinking, Tricia. But we'd probably have to keep that conference a secret. Concentrating the scam-blog movement in one place might be dangerous.

      On the other hand, maybe the LSAC would put us up at the Waldorf-Astoria and send liveried waiters to serve Sauternes with our Roquefort.

    5. Agreed about the secrecy. Too many "professors" have egos inflated enough to think that it's within their rights and their power to destroy those who disagree with them. For example, Leiter and his spiteful efforts to silence dissent, and Leong's disgraceful attempt to cripple dybbuk's career rather than address his valid points in a suitable forum. I for one just don't trust that "professors" will not try to do the same to me, and I'm not yet ready to become a martyr.

      Plus surely part of our ability to make changes (and no matter what people in academic say, we HAVE made HUGE changes) is our relative anonymity and lack of organization, which allows for a certain level of guerilla tactics that the "professors" can't fight? (Although Leiter does have his guerilla army of sock puppets (and professor puppets) at his disposal, the fucking asswipe.)

      What I would be interested in is a more organized movement that ran parallel to the scamblog movement, although not officially associated with it in any way, that tried to address these issues.

      But I'll happily buy anyone here a beer at any point and enjoy a mini conference. Except that douchebag boomer/professor who comes here occasionally to stir up the comments.

    6. I'd advise against a conference, since Leiter seems to have a sufficient supply of toadies to do his dirty work of outing, defaming, and threatening the most informed and articulate critics of the law school scam. A certain kind of person does find Leiter convincing, especially in the crude and belligerent manner he loves to affect. Although his promises of career assistance are empty and delusional, there's a certain number of codelusional fools who dream of sharing Leiter's "prestige." Some of them would literally do anything to share the pampered, indolent life of a law professor. And by the time they've fulfilled their assignments for Lieter, he's moved on to the next year's candidates.

      That's the kind of person who would undoubtedly show up at a scam-fighting conference, unless attendance were extremely limited.

    7. Perhaps those attending the conference should wear masks concealing their identity.

    8. Problem is that there will be no substantive change until the scam-bloggers (and we who support them) come forward.

      But again, why is everyone so afraid of Leiter, Simkovic et al. ?? What can they possibly do to us?

      Frankly, I think law professors are trembling right now.

    9. Several of us have been overtly or covertly attacked by law-school scamsters. We have good reason to conceal our identity.

      Our identity is simply irrelevant. As an LSAT tutor, I taught my students that the identity of the person making the argument has no bearing on the argument's validity (unless identity itself is at issue). Yet the scamsters and their minions keep disparaging us for hiding behind masks. Of course we hide behind masks: unlike the scamsters, we have a lot to lose. They have their cushy tenured jobs, abundant free time, and a richly funded racket behind them; we, for the most part, are little people, with no institutional backing—but a real vulnerability to smear campaigns, harassment, and bullshit complaints to bar or boss.

      We have truth, the best ally, on our side. The scamsters, by contrast, operate in the realm of lies, threats, and defamation.

    10. Leiter thinks his propaganda will be better received if he refers to bloggers as "anonymous cowards." Actually, as recent events have demonstrated, the public is starting to recognize Leiter as the real coward, hiding as he does behind the anachronistic privileges of tenure.

    11. "Perhaps those attending the conference should wear masks concealing their identity."

      Except Leiter would show up, think he had stumbled upon a sex party, and get his cock out and start rubbing its smelly head against the other attendees' thighs and buttocks. And I for one don't want to ever ever ever sit in my car after a meeting and be greeted with the rising odor of Leiter's cock.

    12. I honestly don't care if Leiter's private parts are smelly or not. He has a major psychological problem, and I don't want to give him any information about my life. I'm sure he'd try to disrupt it, and as clumsy and obvious as he is, he does land a few lucky blows from time to time..

    13. Strength is in numbers.

      If only a dozen or so scam-blggers (and/or their supporters) came out publicly, I can understand the trepidation. There would be too few of us and too many of them. If, however, you get 1000+ people to gather and discuss the scam, it would be a whole other story.

      At the end of the day, a public gathering is what will be necessary to destroy the scam and reform legal education. The people who created the problem will NEVER fix it, thus someone else must come in to clean up their mess. This cannot be accomplished anonymously.

  19. How about arranging to have sidewalk counselors confront first-year law students on their way to their first class? Quitting's the only way you'll win.

    Or hanging large banners across law-school entrances reading 'WELCOME IDIOTS.'

    1. Or, to bring us back to Dante, "ABANDON ALL HOPE, YE WHO ENTER HERE".

    2. Ah, Dante and his Inferno, how appropriate, I was just looking into that again recently... indeed, all the law school pigs and scammers should be thrown straight into the eighth circle (Fraud); as for which of its 10 rings is the best fit for them, I'll let more knowledgeable minds figure that out.
      Also, funnily enough that Hell should come into this discussion about law (and I don't just mean because law, between working in that field and dealing the backbreaking law school debts, can feel like Hell); weirdly enough, just last night I was at a friend's house watching that Spawn animated series, and how that one dude's widow was a lawyer who was dealing with some aggravating pro bono cases.

  20. It's rank is 82? That's pretty awful.