Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Washburn and the Solo Sub-Scam

Recently, I ran across this article, entitled "Washburn Law Grads Ready to Practice."  Normally, this is the sort of benign PR poop that one lets slip past the radar of eyebrow raising.

But it's hard to ignore some bold claims:
The law school ranked 24th nationally in employment in full-time, long-term jobs requiring bar passage, according to 2015 American Bar Association data — above all other law schools in Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas.

“We are pleased that our graduates are among the nation’s most successful in securing full-time, long-term jobs that require bar passage. This is the gold standard of jobs for lawyers,” said Washburn law school dean Thomas R. Romig.
Lest you think this is just puffed-up journalism, when I went to the school's website, I found this rather loud banner:


Twenty-fourth in the country sounds pretty impressive...until you look into the actual numbers.  Let's look at Washburn's 509 data for the Class of 2014 (copied from LST):

Employed LTFT LTPT STFT STPT Total
Solo 10 0 0 0 10
2-10 Attorneys 29 1 0 2 32
11-25 Attorneys 3 1 0 0 4
26-50 Attorneys 7 0 0 0 7
51-100 Attorneys 1 0 0 0 1
101-250 Attorneys 0 0 0 0 0
251-500 Attorneys 0 0 0 0 0
501+ Attorneys 3 0 0 0 3
Size Unknown 0 0 0 0 0
Business & Industry 12 0 0 0 12
Government 20 0 0 1 21
Public Interest 2 0 0 0 2
Federal Clerkships 0 0 0 0 0
State & Local Clerkships 3 0 0 0 3
Other Clerkships 0 0 0 0 0
Education 1 0 0 1 2
Employer Type Unknown 0 0 0 0 0
Employed Total 91 2 0 4 97

So... 10 of their 91 "employed full time" graduates went solo.  For their entire class of 112, that's almost 9% of their graduates.  That's high.  How high?

Fourth in the country high.  Check out this list:

PERCENTAGE OF SOLOS TO GRADUATES

LAW SCHOOL    SOLO %
Texas Southern University 17.14%
Lincoln Memorial University 15.56%
Willamette University 9.02%
Washburn University 8.93%
St. Mary's University 8.72%
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth 8.64%
Faulkner University 8.43%
Southern University Law Center 7.27%
Florida International University 7.14%
John Marshall Law School - Atlanta 6.84%
University of Nebraska 6.84%
University of La Verne 6.82%
University of Toledo 6.50%
South Texas College of Law 6.41%
Texas A&M 6.03%
Mississippi College 5.71%
University of Arkansas - Little Rock 5.60%
Oklahoma City University 5.56%
Charlotte School of Law 5.33%
Liberty University 5.26%

I wonder if this is the esteemed company Washburn wants the public to see it associated with.

There are other problems with Washburn's claim regarding its stellar employment results, the most notable being that Washburn placed only 12.5% of its graduates in law firms of 11 or more attorneys, whereas Kansas placed 20.2%, Oklahoma placed 20.9%, Arkansas placed 21.7%, Colorado placed 24.2%, all in said categorization, and Texas placed 25.6% of its class in firms of 500 or more alone.

Under Law School Transparency's Employment Score method (which justifiably excludes solo practitioners), Washburn ranks 107th in the country. So it appears that Washburn is using its solo numbers to inflate its employment rate over clearly superior schools when calculating its "24th in the country!" claim.

Lately, law schools have been hiding behind the "our representations were technically true!" fortification - which is somehow abutting the "our representations were so absurd no one would believe them!" fortification - in response to the lawsuits that gained almost no traction.

But what is it when a school apparently counts solo practitioners as "employed" or in a "position," much less one that is long term?  Is that even technically true?  A solo practitioner isn't employed or holding a "position," and I would bet that most don't last more than a few years before doing something else.  A solo practitioner is an entrepreneur at an uncertain start-up, almost always carrying additional business debt and negative operating costs until business picks up and large up-front expenses can be paid down. To compare it to an associate position in a firm of 20+ attorneys is disingenuous, at a minimum.

The data is pretty clear that prospective law students generally don't want to be solo practitioners immediately if they have a choice, and solo practice for new graduates is likely a symptom of low employment prospects rather than any conscious expression of being "ready to practice."

The following chart shows the percentage of recent graduates going solo versus the median LSAT score of the school's most recent incoming class. (Lincoln Memorial and the Puerto Rican schools were excluded.)

 As you can see, as the median LSAT score increases, the percent of those graduates who wind up going solo out of law school would be expected to decrease.  The inferences here would be that 1) very few graduates are apparently turning down more stable, better-quality jobs to go solo; and 2) either lower-quality applicants are more inclined to go solo than higher-scoring peers or they're feeling more forced to do so out of economic necessity.  I'll let the reader choose one's own adventure on that riddle rather than baselessly speculate that it's the latter.

This is somewhat troubling, of course. Sometimes, law deans will celebrate students for going solo out of law school, even building programs to promote it, and indeed there are some who can manage it.  But they're a minority, and if anyone is going to go solo, the world would likely be better served if it were students with better incoming LSAT and GPA scores.  Does the eager 150 LSAT really understand the limits of his own ignorance, particularly when some gushing law dean has been pimping the idea? Can he become an expert practitioner on his own as easily as his rival with an in-house mentor?

Shouldn't law deans, particularly those who worry about bar passage rates, be discouraging most people from going solo out of school?  Instead, if schools are allowed to count solos as "long term employed" and get away with it, law schools have an incentive to pump as many of their recent graduates into solo set-ups as are willing to take the bait, whether those students are ready to start a business in a saturated market or not.

I don't mean to be down on solo practice, other than to say I think it's borderline insane for most recent graduates with very limited practical experience to jump into a mucky pond where twenty-year practitioners can struggle to get good clients.  If you can make it, good for you.  That means you had skill, money, and/or luck in some combination.  

But what I know is that solos aren't "employed" and such a path isn't what the overwhelming majority of law school applicants pictures as a good - or even viable - career option nine months after graduation.  For law schools to continue to lump those numbers into their employment figures and sell the school as being excellent at "placing" graduates anywhere is blatantly dishonest.

That seems like a sub-scam, friends.  Give these folks the slightest angle to turn poop into the 24th best placement rate and they're going to do it.

82 comments:

  1. Perhaps the most interesting thing is how close together schools are grouped. A drop from 24 to 107 based on 9% LT, FT solos (with netted change for the schools passed) is unbelievable.

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  2. "24th in Nation for Employment." High praise, indeed. That's almost as dignified as "24th Tightest Sphincter among Washed-Up Porn Actresses." Maybe even "24th Least Sadistic Guard at Shawshank."

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    1. You better be careful there, when voting for sadistic guards at Shawshank; Captain Hadley has worked long and hard to maintain his place as #1 Most Sadistic Guard at Shawshank, and he won't like it if he slips any spaces...

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  3. Being a newby and a solo means UNEMPLOYED. Unless you have a steady stream of work from a feeder network or a secure marketing plan that generates income,, no one aspires to be a SOLO immediately after law school. Maybe after a stint as a Public Defender or Prosecutor, one then CHOOSES to be a solo, that is a different story. I know veteran prosecutors and Hearing Officers who were let go during the Recession, and still consider themselves as UNEMPLOYED, yet they are trying to generate income as a SOLO. The work has dried up and even me, a solo for 23 years, I consider myself underemployed. This is cockeyed! This is as good as the George W. Bush banner "Mission Accomplished."

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    1. Hell, I've done a few legal odd-jobs for people I know. Nowhere near enough to feed myself for a year, but hey, I've done legal work. I'm halfway surprised that my school hasn't claimed that I'm working full-time in a job requiring bar passage (The stonemasonry and concrete work, of course, is J.D. Advantage).

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  4. Hell, I'm surprised I didn't see Third Tier Drake on the list for desperate-ass, solo chump practitioners. As 1:04 stated, newly minted solo means unemployed. Good luck trying to feed yourself - or any dependents - on the occasional referral on the court-appointed list. Plus, you will be representing broke bastards with nothing to lose and no social skills. Yes, that's a real win, huh?!?!

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    1. I think the Drake grads take their degree off their resume and go get whatever the hell they can get, rather than keep dreaming about legal careers. Culver's starts at 9.50 an hour, and it's better than nothing... that's the Midwestern work ethic in action.

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  5. The difference, I guess, is between intentionally misleading people and actually lying. I'm sure someone at Washburn can explain the difference.

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    1. My tax law professor said that the way the system works is someone finds a way to beat the IRS and everyone does it until Congress closes the loophole. Then folks start looking for a new way to game the system. That's what's been happening here. Law schools keep looking for ways to peddle their bullshit without running afoul of ABA rules, eventually they change the rules and then the schools have to get more creative.

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  6. You know, in this day and age, anyone dumb enough to attend a radioactive slag heap like Washburn Law probably deserves the fate that awaits them - or at least their own entry in the latest edition of the Darwin Awards.

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    1. The Law School lemmings site, assuming it's legally permissible, should post the tweets of its lemmings on that site (Darwin awards). It could operate to further reveal the diminished situation.

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    2. I agree with 7:22. People who go to Washburn Law or another Cooley in 2015 are not victims; they're just idiots.

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    3. NOOOOOO!!!!

      THEY ARE SWEET SWEET MAGICKAL ECONOMIC POWERHOUSES WHO WILL SUPERCHARGE OUR ECONOMY WITH A FOOKING TIDAL WAVE OF HOME AND CAR PURCHASES!!! BUT IT'LL ONLY HAPPEN IF WE LET THEM KEEP ALL THE MONEY THAT THEY "BORROWED."

      So in other words, I steal your wallet, but it'll still help you in the long run, because I promise to spend the money at the store that you own. Everybody wins! It's basically Lesson 1 from the Big Beautiful Book of Cryn and Incompetent Economics.

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    4. You're absolutely right that they didn't really "borrow" the money. It was all siphoned off by the greedy parasites at the law school. It wasn't a fair transaction or an arm's-length transaction. Any good lawyer, not at a law school, could tell you that the terms are unconscionable. The federal government should severely limit the amount of debt that can be incurred in that way, or prohibit the practice entirely.

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    5. "They didn't really 'borrow' the money. It was all siphoned off by the greedy parasites at the law school."

      O RLY? So these devilish law schools hacked into the banks and somehow intercepted the money before the borrowers received it? Is THAT what you're saying?

      Oh, the debtors borrowed the money, all right. They borrowed it and immediately spent it. I wouldn't mind if they stopped all lending across the board, from sea to shining sea - including low-interest mortgages, by the way - but the people who want to forgive the student loan deadbeats? They want to live in an economy built on clouds and rainbows.

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    6. Or we want to live in a world where the people who run institutions of higher education aren't allowed to moral hazard their way to unjustified profits (personal and institutional) while a generation of middle class white collar laborers is bogged down with permanent student loan debt incurred under false premises.

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    7. I, a good lawyer (if I do say so myself), do not agree that the terms of those loans are unconscionable. The problem is not the validity of the contracts; it's that the loans should never have been made available in the first place. Unfortunately, the government is funding a scam that furnishes aristocratic (and often moronic) law professors with penthouses in Waikiki at the expense of the public, all under the pretext of enabling marginally literate people to become lawyers.

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    8. @12:16,

      "Or we want to live in a world where the people who run institutions of higher education aren't allowed to moral hazard their way to unjustified profits (personal and institutional) ..." blah, blah, etc.

      No, the PROBLEM is that you want that very same "moral hazard" to be applied to you instead of the law schools.

      You are like some kind of neutered, completely ineffectual pint-size version of the big banks. You also want to privatize profits and socialize losses. It's just that your autism or whatever the fuck it is has caused you to fail where the big banks and law schools succeeded.

      END ALL LOANS. That's fine! F-I-N-E. Really, it is. But in the meantime, quit trying to pick my fucking pocket. People should pay back the money that they already borrowed. It's amazing that this proposition is even up for debate these days, but there it is.

      Reading your comment, it sure doesn't SOUND like you hate "moral hazard." You are jealous of the people who benefit from that setup and wish that you could be in on the action - but it hasn't happened for you.

      That's not exactly the moral high ground.

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    9. Do you even know what a moral hazard is?

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    10. @6:22,

      DO YOU? It sure doesn't sound like it. Or maybe you really don't think there are any societal costs to letting people borrow $250K, spend it, and immediately discharge the debt by declaring bankruptcy?

      There's no moral hazard there?

      Maybe you can use your insanely powerful intellect to explain that one, genius.

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    11. "Maybe you can use your insanely powerful intellect to explain that one, genius."

      Sure. A "moral hazard" is where a party acts while receiving the benefits of the transaction knowing the risks of the transaction are going to be incurred by a third party. A moral hazard isn't the same as a socialized cost. The existence of bankruptcy doesn't automatically create a moral hazard for every loan recipient in America. Additionally, a moral hazard either exists or does not exist at the time of the conduct at issue, whereas bankruptcy is a reorganization option that may occur years down the line. Finally, law school loan recipients have personalized costs even if bankruptcy reorganization of the debt were allowed (i.e., severely damaged credit and likely difficulties with bar authorities).

      Literally no one is advocating letting people borrow $250k and then discharge the debt immediately. If one borrows money with no intent to pay it back, that's bankruptcy abuse (a form of fraud) and it's already within judicial discretion to deny discharge in that scenario whether the debt was incurred for education or not.

      You are literally comparing a recognized form of illegal activity that you are imputing to hypothetical students without proof to an actual, observable economic policy theory being demonstrated every single time a law school enrolls a poor student with little to no chance of successfully paying back the loans (regardless of intent).

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    12. So! Knowing that I can borrow $250,000, immediately spend it, and then discharge my debt - that doesn't affect my future borrowing and spending decisions in any way whatsoever, right?

      You are either a liar or a blithering idiot. Or both.

      Let's see, what else ...

      "A moral hazard either exists or does not exist at the time of the conduct at issue, whereas bankruptcy is a reorganization option that may occur years down the line."

      INTELLECTUAL DISHONESTY ALERT! It's the ***ABILITY*** to discharge the loan in bankruptcy that affects the borrowing behaviour, right? Not the receipt of a bankruptcy petition in some court. And you think it should be dischargable from the very beginning of the loan.

      "Literally no one is advocating letting people borrow $250k and then discharge the debt immediately."

      O RLY? So you are announcing that you now favour a (hitherto-unmentioned) waiting period all of a sudden? LOL, since when? I guess you accidentally forgot to mention that until now. And how long should this brand-spanking-new waiting period be, hmm? 25 years? We already have that - it's called IBR.

      In view of your feeble attempts at misdirection, I can see why you received such a bad outcome from your decision to go to law school on a tidal wave of borrowed money. I don't feel sorry for you, and I don't want to pay your fucking bill for you.

      Tell me - are you even considering paying back the money that you borrowed on a month-by-month basis? Or would you sooner live under a bridge for the entire 25-year IBR period?

      It's almost as though something other than the money is at work with the we-shall-not-be-moved debtors. It's as if you get some kind of oxytocin-fueled high from "borrowing" money and then evading the obligation to pay it back.

      In other words, you are the digital 21st-century equivalent of a kleptomaniac. Or a common thief.

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    13. These discussions would be more productive if facts and reasoned analysis took the place of sarcasm, straw-man arguments, ignorance, and personal abuse.

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    14. Old Guy, I'm inclined to agree, but what would a neutered autistic kleptomaniac idiot know?

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  7. The people who teach and run law schools have never been and have never wanted be lawyers, so it's not really a surprise that they don't understand that it's extremely hard making a living as a solo right out of law school.

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    1. Being a successful solo requires an aggressive marketing plan and ability to run a business, in addition to being a competent lawyer. Most lawyers are introverts and risk adverse. This doesn't even address the fact that there are too many lawyers fighting over too few paying clients. This will not end well for most.

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    2. It's hard to make a living as a solo, period. I read that some study found that the average earnings for all solos (regardless of years of experience) was 49k. Pretty pathetic when you consider what you go through to be a lawyer.

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    3. CNN reported on that @ 9:59:

      http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/22/opinions/barton-rise-and-fall-of-lawyers/

      " In 1988, solo practitioners earned an inflation-adjusted $70,747. By 2012, earnings had fallen to $49,130, a 30% decrease in real income. And note, $49,130 is not the starting salary for these lawyers. It is the average earnings of all 354,000 lawyers who filed as solo practitioners that year."

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    4. @4:06, that makes perfect sense. Most people who post here went to school later but 1989 was the year the bottom fell out of the legal marketplace, and it was already getting worse before that. I know there have been subsequent downturns but the golden era ended in the recession of 1989.

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  8. Washburn needs to be more innovative in its "technically true" scamming. For instance, it could incentivize recent grads to team up in their desperate new firm ventures. The grads would land in the 2-10 Attorneys category, which would count in the LST employment score calculation and be less immediately suspicious to scamblogger types.

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    1. Better yet, have ALL of the jobless grads join together and form one big firm. Tent City, LLP is open for business! Now the school can report 100% employment in J.D.-required jobs, with an enormous percentage of graduates in firms of 100+ attorneys! Hooray, the legal employment market can finally be conquered!

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    2. I don't even trust their numbers. Three graduates got jobs in Big Law? Who the hell believes that?

      Anyone stupid enough to consider Washburn Law for one minute should ask for data, in writing, on the salaries of those "employed" graduates. Ask where those people are working and what they are doing.

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  9. Remember, lemmings, if you fall for these numbers games and half-truths, then it is your fault - according to our esteemed legal system. You should have known the law schools were lying to you, and it's your fault you fell for it, chump.

    You get more consumer protections from the puffery of used car salesmen than you get from these ScamDeans and their "ethical" published data.

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    1. Well, let's be honest. Can anyone really believe that going to Washburn Law will yield a good result? Should people be indemnified for taking on a quarter of a million dollars' worth of non-dischargeable debt in order to get a degree from a mephitic toilet like Washburn Law?

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    2. Can anyone really believe that going to Washburn Law will yield a good result?

      Based on an evaluation of the graduate employment data? No.

      Based on decades of parents and authorities telling young people that "Education is the Key"? Based on the social expectation that lawyers wear suits, do complex work, and make lots of money? Maybe yes.

      Their assumptions are wrong, but the theory that people are rational economic actors is disproved every day. At least if student loans were left to the free market (maybe even dischargeable as well), you'd see the real risks of law schools made much clearer. After all, a lender would loan hundreds of thousands of dollars to a student who will almost certainly make BigLaw. But for the tens of thousands of lemmings whose school choice dooms that option from the outset, they would either be rejected outright or face payday-loan-style interest rates that actually reflect the *enormous* risk of default. Washington has chosen (stupidly and corruptly) to put taxpayers on the hook for an insane system which prices the risk of every law school the same way, and which apparently relies on marginally-informed students to make realistic assessments about their own chances of success.

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    3. Oh, I certainly don't buy into the bullshit right-wing theory that people are rational economic actors. As you said, that plainly is not so.

      But the law-school scam is now well known. It is featured in the media. Hell, it even came up in McElroy's execrable novel.

      Yes, baby boomers continue to mislead young people with claims about "education" that may have been good advice in 1978 but are just not true today. Yes, the younger generations—including my own (Generation X)—have been fucked by the older ones. But none of that justifies lightly signing up for $250k in non-dischargeable debt at high interest rates.

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  10. I took a look at Washburn's LST report and it says that in 2013 (the last year for which info is available), only 41.7% of Washburn grads were employed and reported a salary. It also says that only 20% of the class reported a salary of $52K or more. Both of those stats are huge red flags. When 60% of a class does not report a salary, it's a good bet that most of those people are functionally unemployed. Also, a law degree that only gives you a 20% chance of earning $52 K per year is not worth the time or money. With an undergrad degree and three years of experience, you can easily make $52K in any number of jobs, whether it's selling pickup trucks or as an assistant manager at a big box store.

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  11. This seems pretty typical to me. I used to work at a 3T/4T law school, and here are two similar things we used to do:

    1. Bar exam results: My ex-employer is located in Ohio, which has 9 law schools. Every time bar results were released, we would run a new ad campaign based on the bar results. If we ranked high in the state (#1 or #2), we'd plaster our website and do direct mailers to everyone on our database about it, even if the actual pass rate was poor. One exam, our grads had an 85% pass rate and that was good enough for #2 in the state, and the administration was overjoyed. The next exam, we had the exact same pass and were #8 in the state, and all of a sudden it was a crisis that necessitated a "bar exam task force" to figure out how to pull our results up.

    2. Rankings besides US News: National Jurist ranked us #1 Best Value one time and we told everyone who would listen. We got like six years of mileage out of that one ranking.

    Since I left, ATL ranked the law school in the "first tier" in their latest ranking, so now there's a link on the law school's home page that says "A First Tier Education" or something like that, even though USNews ranks them in the 120s or 130s.

    Basically what this kind of message does is that it takes advantage of less sophisticated prospective students' passing knowledge that law schools are ranked somehow, but they don't know how the rankings are constructed, who constructs them, or that various rankings systems are more widely accepted in the industry than others. They just see things like "First Tier Education" or "#24 in Employment" and submit an application.

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  12. You really do have to be an utter and complete moron to attend law school these days. With all the information that's out there I am amazed people are still matriculating.

    You would literally do better just sitting and watching TV for 12 hours/day for 3 years.

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  13. I have been a solo for nearly thirty years. In all that time I have considered myself unemployed, technically or otherwise. Solos only eat if they kill something that day. F$&@ the lying scum of Washburn. Isn't that a Christian school? Doesn't the bible prohibit bearing false witness?

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    1. I've noticed many "Christian" law schools are more like whited sepulchres in reality. They up-sale the faith angle when it comes to mission and drawing in students, but downplay it when it comes to actual outcomes.

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    2. It seems to me that when it comes to grafting, the fundamentalist Christian leaders excel. Perhaps because their victims are more willing dupes. Sad, really.

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    3. "Christian schools" merely segment the market: they try, rather successfully, to hive off the Bible-thumping nincompoops from the population of lemmings. And why not? They have to distinguish themselves somehow from the many other Cooleys.

      Christian law schools. Serving God and Mammon (Matthew 6:24).

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    4. Ms. Dennis has it correct. My stint as a solo began during the Bush Recession of 1992. Except for a few lucky years when State Farm didn't act like a sub-standard and I earned nice PI referral fees and PI guys tossed me all of their criminal stuff, it has been a constant state of unemployment and desperation. It got really bad when the state stopped paying for the appointed work I previously billed. I had to use dimes and quarters to put gas in the car from court.

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    5. No, Tricia.

      Washburn is not a Christian school. It's a strangely-named state school in Kansas, and it has no purpose or reason to exist. Kansas only needs one law school.

      If you're really that eager to condemn Christian universities, you could have done a minimal amount of research and then mentioned Belmont University.

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    6. What about Bob Jones University, Hyles-Anderson, and Pensacola Christian College? Just search for "Jack Hyles Betty Nischik", "David Hyles", "Jack Schaap", "Bob Jones University sex scandal", "Pensacola Christian College Voice", "PCC 2001 handbook", "Arlin Horton", "optical intercourse", and "Dr. Greg Mutsch."

      The three places I listed are unaccredited "Independent Fundamentalist Baptist" colleges, founded in the 1960s that claim they are there to teach IFB youth, but really they are seminaries that allow laypeople to also study a small number of subjects; so they are producing preachers, small business owners and the educated wives of preachers and small businessmen. Wives who will never work.

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    7. Liberty Unifarcity and Regent Unifarcity are a couple of halle-fuckin'-lujah, puhraise-the-lawd fundamentalist law schools. And there are lots of Roman Catholic ones: Catholic (unsurprisingly), Ave Maria, Boston College, Notre Dame, Loyola, St. Thomas. Brigham Young caters to Mormons, and Cardozo and Touro are Jewish.

      The Bible-thumpers recently made headlines in Canada by establishing a law skule called Trinity Western that forbids students and faculty alike to engage in sexual relations outside marriage "between a man and a woman". The goddamn thing hasn't even opened yet, but already there are several lawsuits over its graduates' eligibility to join the bar in various provinces.

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    8. Amen Tricia. It's hard to find employment when, for instance, your ostensibly Christian law school is known mainly for its homophobic views so vile that SPLC classifies its "pro bono" arm as a hate group.

      http://cnsnews.com/news/article/michael-w-chapman/liberty-law-school-dean-gay-marriage-beginning-end-western

      Unsurprisingly, those who preach hatred for their fellow man have little concern for the careers and finances of lemmings.

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    9. Reminds me of a stanza from an old Wobbly song:

      Onward, Christian soldiers! Blight all that you meet.
      Trample human freedom under pious feet.
      Praise the Lord Whose dollar sign dupes His favored race!
      Make the foreign trash respect your bullion brand of grace.
      Trust in mock salvation; serve as tyrants' tools.
      History will say of you: That pack of goddamn fools!

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    10. To anonymous 8:58:
      It appears that Washburn, while founded by Christians is a public institution. My bad. I focused my condemnation of Washburn because that was the subject of the post (See above title: "Washburn and the Solo Sub-Scam").

      Being originally from Nashville, the daughter of a Vanderbilt professor and now a resident of Chattanooga, I'm quite familiar with Belmont. Like Washburn, it started out as a Christian school, an affiliate of the Southern Baptist Convention, but jettisoned that association when it decided no reason existed as to why it should not become the next Vanderbilt or Duke. It's fundamentalist religious roots prevented the academic community from taking its aspirations seriously.

      The law school is just an awful joke, but, having reviewed the LST data for all Tennessee law schools, it does have an employment rate slightly higher than Memphis (somewhere in the low 50 percentile---and little placement in firms that would allow debt management).

      I hope that is sufficient focus for you.

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    11. Old Guy, you are a treasure! I never knew of that song! I must commit it to memory. Living in the buckle of the Bible Belt, one must have such verbal weapons at the ready.

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    12. Lots of universities have distant religious origins. Harvard and Yale started as seminaries to train Congregationalist ministers; Princeton, for Presbyterian ministers. William and Mary originally admitted only Anglicans. Duke, Vanderbilt, and the U of Southern California were all Methodist.

      But the better ones, as you suggested, have set aside their Christ-banging origins. Only the toilets spit fire and brimstone at queer people, women, Black people, and other spawn of Satan that are leading us away from His male-chauvinist, heterosexist, ultra-right-wing KKKingdom.

      Tricia, that's only the fifth stanza of the song. Enjoy the whole thing here:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weNcfVHMiyg
      `
      http://warisacrime.org/content/christians-war-john-f-kendrick-1916

      Also look up "The Preacher and the Slave".

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    13. ^ Oh, STFU, OldCry. It sounds from your screed like YOU are filled with far more venom than any of those "Christ-banging" institutions you are so fixated on.

      If you hate religious people that much, why don't you do yourself a flavor and move to a "religion-free" country like North Korea or Cuba? What with their ultrafriendly policies on "queer people," wimmens, and black people, LOL.

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    14. Our favorite troll is an angry apologist. Shocked.

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    15. Old Guy, I am a heterosexual White male who, when he was at Notre Dame, dated a Black woman. No one was spitting fire and brimstone at her, She told me. Hell, she even got elected Sugar Bowl Queen.

      You should get a hobby or therapy.

      Delete
    16. "The Bible-thumpers recently made headlines in Canada by establishing a law skule called Trinity Western that forbids students and faculty alike to engage in sexual relations outside marriage "between a man and a woman". The goddamn thing hasn't even opened yet, but already there are several lawsuits over its graduates' eligibility to join the bar in various provinces."

      So tell us, old guy, do you believe that the court system of a free country should interfere with freedom of thought and freedom of speech to satisfy the demands of people who disagree with other people's beliefs? Who do you feel should be in charge of deciding what thought and speech should be allowed and what should be suppressed? I assume that none of the parliaments of the ten Canadian provinces are considering this bigoted concept.

      And OBTW, I am an American man married to a Canadian woman. Maybe you are a man married to a Canadian man or boy but if not I think I know that country better than you do (though you may have a different take on "mountie"). You should go there on vacation but otherwise DO NOT GO THERE.

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    17. Rusty, bubby, the SPLC was founded as a noble organization that fought groups like the Ku Klux Klan, but as those groups declined it needed new ways to justify its fundraising. It now uses its classifications as publicity stunts that pander to its liberal donors. Earlier this year they had to publicly retract and apologize for classifying Republican Presidential candidate Ben Carlson, M.D. (Are you smart enough to have an M.D., Rusty?) as an "extremist."

      Delete
    18. Thanks for the tip Old Guy. And yes indeed, you are correct about Vandy's methodist origins. However, I don't believe those origins, jettisoned in the early 20th century ever handicapped it to the extent baptist or other fundamentalist religions can handicap the academic seriousness of a school. Methodism (not the Oral Roberts kind) is a pretty far cry from Baptist fundamentalism. I suppose there are exceptions---maybe Baylor, but it is, I believe the exception that proves the rule.

      Delete
    19. "So tell us, OldCry, do you believe that the court system of a free country should interfere with freedom of thought and freedom of speech to satisfy the demands of people who disagree with other people's beliefs?"

      In a word, YES.

      And LOL@3:21. Apparently anyone who doesn't practice his personal brand of Soviet-style cultural Marxism (and how ELSE would you describe OldCry's hate-screed?) is a "troll" and and "apologist." How about it, LSTC? Can even YOUR powerful intellect generate an actual response? Or will you simply delete the hurty comments that you can't cope with as usual, you smelly, Soviet, Lenin-banging pussy?

      No wonder you and OldCry can't find a real job.

      Delete
    20. ^ In case anyone has been wondering why we moderate the comments.

      Delete
    21. Yes, Tricia, I agree. Vanderbilt, Harvard, and the others have long abandoned their religious origins. And I would not put Notre Dame and the like in a category with Liberty, Regent, Trinity Western, Bob Jones, and other god-bothering fundamentalist establishments.

      Delete
    22. Tricia, please don't claim to be "quite familiar with Belmont" when you don't know the first thing about it. It's still very much a Christian school, as a two-minute perusal of their website made abundantly clear.

      And, of course, the big scandal at Belmont was that their president and a few law professors were being paid exorbitant salaries while their law students were going heavily into debt..

      Delete
  14. Green solo pup,
    You build us up.
    Let's have a party

    ReplyDelete
  15. The Solo Practice Sub-Scam and utilizing any angle to prop up a law school sounds very much like the diversity ploy that law schools advertise. They claim their law school is highly ranked in diversity or minority enrollment. Statistics that grasp at straws. I graduated Thomas Cooley Law School in the 90's and they always advertised their diversity angle and it did not matter, never got hired anywhere. Tried the solo practice route and it is impossible when your local yellow pages are filled with law offices been around for decades. So never made literally a dollar and went back to my minimum wage job I had prior to law school. That is the fate that awaits virtually everyone who does not attend a T10.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you don't have big bucks to pay for search engine optimization, you will never get found on the internets either. You will get buried by the same law firms. I graduated from a ranked law school and I am working a minimum wage job on the weekends to make ends meet. I am ashamed. The folks I work for are nice people, but they are not educated and own luxury pick up trucks, ATV's and are constantly going on vacations. They live in a much nicer house than me. I thought I did everything I could to be successful but some how I failed.

      Delete
    2. The more that they dip into the "diversity" barrel, the less likely it will be that their prospective marks will have any idea about how bad an idea law school is. If you come from a wealthy or upper-middle class family, by this point you will probably have lawyer relatives warn you about how dangerous the market is (And if you do try and fail, you can always live in the poolhouse).

      Some schmuck from a poverty-income family with no experience with American higher-ed is probably more likely to drink the Higher Education is The Key Koolaid, and they won't have any relatives to warn them off. Hell, it wouldn't surprise me if their family and relatives try to push them into law school. "Tom just graduated college, and next year he's...*GASP*...going to law school!!!"

      Delete
    3. It's true; my mom was a lawyer and she warned me from an early age to stay far away from the "profession". The folks who could potentially grind it out are eschewing law school because they know it isn't worth it. The schools need fresh meat in the door, so they are reaching for matriculants who never had a shot at a legitimate legal career.

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    4. I'm sorry to say that "diversity", in the context of law school, is a code word for the cynical exploitation of racialized groups.

      Delete
  16. How many professors have EVER tried their hand at solo practice? I'm guessing the number is somewhere between 0 and 0.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, but probably towards the upper end of that range.

      Delete
  17. Which is only slightly smaller than the number of professors who have tried their hand being actual lawyers.

    ReplyDelete
  18. "Follow Your Passion"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you have a passion for pounding beers and playing Xbox, spending 3 you are doing that is a better decision than Washburn.

      Delete
    2. Why is it that there are so many lemming nitwits with a "passion" for law? Why is law a "dream job"? How many people actually wake up with a burning passion to push shitpaper all week?

      You want a dream job? How about working as a video game reviewer and part-time Fellatio Quality Control Analyst (Receiving) at Vivid Entertainment? I mean, you're not going to get that job either, but it sounds a whole lot more fun than BigLaw.

      Delete
    3. Because law to them is not about work; it's about money and status and fancy cars and flying business class to Paris and hobnobbing with celebrities.

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    4. One word: Television.

      Delete
  19. New article by Paul Campos:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/10/law-school-scam-getting-worse/412159/?utm_source=yahoo

    ReplyDelete
  20. A sole proprietor is not an employee. Neither are partners, as in a two person firm where both are partners. Sole proprietors and partners need to be excluded from this list, and excluded from being counted as employed.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Imagining The Open ToadOctober 25, 2015 at 3:51 PM

    And over 25% of the class in the 2-10 member firm category. I wonder how many of those "firms" are 2-3 newgrads huddled together for warmth?

    A few years ago I spent a couple of hours with the very user friendly Florida bar website, which permits you to filter by school and graduation date, and found that a significant number of new grads from places like FAMU, FCSL etc. were doing just that.

    I tried checking the KBA website members list but had less luck with it (could not figure how to make it filter by school).

    http://www.ksbar.org/search/advanced.asp

    ReplyDelete
  22. It's all a giant scam. Think about it. The people who teach and run law schools have never been or even wanted to be lawyers. That's proof enough.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Washburn law school shouldn't even exist. The law professors who work there know that they are cogs in the machinery of debt that destroys the lives of students who shouldn't be admitted. How ethical is that?

      Delete
  23. Imagining The Open ToadOctober 26, 2015 at 1:47 PM

    No less than the NYT Editorial Board:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/25/opinion/sunday/the-law-school-debt-crisis.html


    (excerpt)

    "In short, most of Florida Coastal’s students are leaving law school with a degree they can’t use, bought with a debt they can’t repay.

    If this sounds like a scam, that’s because it is. Florida Coastal, in Jacksonville, is one of six for-profit law schools in the country that have been vacuuming up hordes of young people, charging them outrageously high tuition and, after many of the students fail to become lawyers, sticking taxpayers with the tab for their loan defaults.

    Yet for-profit schools are not the only offenders. A majority of American law schools, which have nonprofit status, are increasingly engaging in such behavior, and in the process threatening the future of legal education.

    Why? The most significant explanation is also the simplest — free money."

    ReplyDelete