Thursday, January 14, 2016

Now Hiring: The Association of American Law Schools needs unpaid law student flunkies to help tout the value of legal education

The Association of American Law Schools (AALS) is a nonprofit organization that advocates for its 179 member law schools. Its purpose, according to the mission statement set forth in its most recently available IRS Form 990, is to "uphold and advance excellence in legal education. . . while seeking to improve the legal profession, to foster justice, and to serve our many communities." The AALS has just concluded its inter-semester "annual meeting," which is beloved by lawprofs nationwide as largest of the vacation and schmooze events masquerading as scholarly or pedagogical conferences.

Fortunately for justice, the AALS is financially healthy, unlike some of its member law schools and, of course, innumerable debt-ridden law students and law grads. According to its Form 990 from Fiscal 2013, AALS sits atop 10.9 million dollars in net assets or fund balances. In Fiscal 2013, AALS’s revenue of 5.8 million dollars (mostly from membership dues and annual meeting income) exceeded its expenses of 5.4 million dollars. Thus, AALS was able to pay its executive director Susan Westerberg Prager (who has since been succeeded by Judith Areen) annual compensation of $459,221 ($381,271 in reportable compensation from the organization and $77,950 in "other compensation from the organization and related organization").

The Presidency of the AALS is an unpaid position that runs for one year.  It is unlikely, though, that the incumbent AALS President, University of Washington Law Dean Kellye Testy, is overburdened by the demands of leadership. According to the referenced 990, the President of the AALS devotes an average of six hours a week to organization activities. Also, Testy has a financial cushion provided by the generous taxpayers of Washington State, from whom Testy collected $375,012 in 2014 for her services as law school dean. 

The AALS is advertising on its website for law school interns to help promote the value of legal education. (below) These interns are expected to work 15 to 20 hours a week during the school year and full-time during the summer. However, the AALS will not actually pay the interns for their services—not minimum wage, not even a lousy stipend—a small, but meaningful gesture of contempt for the youthful suckers whose gullibility fuels the gravy train.

Perhaps this contempt is justified. You have to wonder about a law student who would volunteer that amount of time to be a flunky for his or her own exploiters. It is as though a scammed investor donated part of his or her work week to do menial chores for Bernie Madoff. Of course, good judgment can hardly be expected of someone reckless or deluded enough to attend law school in 2016, and recent bar passage rates and median LSAT scores suggest that this crop of law students will never be known for their stellar intellects.  

At least the AALS interns get to do substantive work, which includes "assist[ing] committees of law professors through legal research and writing on topics related to legal education, for example, the value of a U.S. legal education." There is certain irony--maybe the better word is sadism-- in assigning scam victims the task of assisting their scammers in promoting the scam. 
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Law Student Internships
The Association of American Law Schools (AALS), a 501(c)(3) higher education association, represents 179 American law schools and is located in downtown Washington, D.C.  AALS is seeking law student interns to work on research and writing projects related to our mission of improving legal education. Candidates must be current J.D. students. These are unpaid internships. 
The law student interns will work 15-20 hours per week during the school year and full-time during the summer at our Dupont Circle headquarters office, and will work directly with Professor Judith Areen, Executive Director, and Professor Regina Burch, Associate Director.  Interns will have the opportunity to interact with other law school professors and deans through their work with AALS committees and the AALS leadership team, as well as to participate in AALS sponsored meetings and conferences. Interns will be encouraged to present innovative approaches to the projects introduced by our staff and to general issues facing legal education today. 
Specifically, interns will assist committees of law professors through legal research and writing on topics related to legal education, for example, the value of a U.S. legal education; and will research AALS workshop topics such as financial aid for law students, creating bibliographies and summarizing the law and policy considerations related to the topic.  Also, interns will assist with developing white papers, other website content, and materials for AALS programs, for example, by researching and documenting innovative curricular programs in legal education and the American Bar Association standards related to those programs.

50 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. We need more unpaid legal interns...For Justice...!

    The assumption here is that anyone going to law school is from the gilded class, so these interns should donate their time, because. The idea that the majority of law students need actual income, now and in the future (e.g. the "underserved" students that law schools have been so desperate to recruit), has not entered their minds because they, too, are from the self-same gilded class.

    This is otherwise known as the echo chamber.

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  3. These psychopaths will rape you, spit on you and then tell you it is your fault for not enjoying it. Same as it ever was.

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  4. Pretty shameless that they are unwilling to pay their law student 10$ an hour to "work" "full time."

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  5. *shakes head* So they want volunteers who will not learn any practice ready skills for when they are shortly dumped out into the job market. Kids, if you are going to give your labor away for free in law school, do it for a nonprofit who is 1) not rolling in money. 2) Can help teach you how to actually practice law. Like oh, legal aid or your public defenders office. The only people who should volunteer for AALS are those who plan to become law professors.

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    1. Because obviously law schools are hiring more staff at the moment.

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  6. Captain Hurska Carswell, Continuance KingJanuary 14, 2016 at 8:59 AM

    During law school, I spent 10-20 hours per week playing Road Blasters, dating cute locals and attending $3.00 student movie night on Wednesdays. The "value" of a law school education should speak for itself. Why does it need sales people? This just SALES.

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  7. These intern/suckers should ask themselves: if a legal education is so valuable, why do I have to work for free?

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  8. I think the implicit understanding here is these positions are forlaw-prof wannabes, and such an internship will put a star on one's resume should one seek entry into the legal academy and "may" lead to a job as a law prof. Just another carrot, nothing to see here. Tom Sawyer's got to get his fence painted, folks.

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    1. They're in for a rude surprise. No law professor ever spent the summer working for free as a propaganda-writing flunkey for an aristocratic PAC in Washington. Law professors spend their summers on the French Riviera.

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    2. Those positions are definitely for wannabes, but not professor wannabes. As dumb as some law professors are, few of them are willing to work for free.

      No, those positions are for administrator wannabes. And they'll probably go to M.Ed. holders rather than JD graduates. And never to anyone who's actually practiced law.

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  9. Lol, it's truly a sign of having a rare and valuable skill when clients can and do get free labor.

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  10. This is for graduates who like their punishment and ask for more; "masochists" I think is the correct term. They may get more applicants if they offer whips, rubber suits and a private dungeon.

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  11. As usual, big salaries for those on the top. Interns though, work for free, cross their fingers and hope for employment.

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    1. Captain Hurska Carswell, Continuance KingJanuary 14, 2016 at 2:09 PM

      That's called paying your dues. I started out bussing tables and volunteered until I became what I am today: A high faluten Solo bringing in big coin of around 37K a year. I have no problems with AALS requesting unpaid interns. I have a problem with using them as Willy Lowmans or Herb Tarlics. Sales.

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    2. Wow, 37K! Keep working and pretty soon you'll be making as much as a septic pump truck operator! Movin' on up!

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    3. That's probably 37K before income taxes, before health insurance, before case-related and license-related expenses, and before rent for the virtual "office/ receptionist" that you incur. (I'm an optimist who doesn't see a crisis, so I don't include student debt).

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    4. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingJanuary 20, 2016 at 9:50 PM

      Receptionist? Yes, I have one. It's called voice mail. Thank god for IBR. I may have to refinance so I can get another set of fresh deferments, forebearances and hardships. I never thought I would be in the lower middle class as an attorney.

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  12. They are doing what everybody is doing these days, exploiting the young. Lots of college students donate their time for zero in return. In fact, many of them are mandated to do so in college required internships. Why is this so unusual?

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    1. Law professors, like all academics, claim to be noble advocates for the greater good. While they make this claim, they feed voraciously on the blood of the young. It's not that this behavior is particularly unusual these days, but rather that academia must be called out for its vile hypocrisy on the matter.

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    2. When I got my bachelor's degree (yes, I know, back in the Pleistocene Epoch), the word internship referred only to a highly paid apprenticeship for a physician in training. Today it refers to an unpaid job, typically far from home (often on another continent), without which a university student cannot expect to find relevant paid employment (and with which the student's chances aren't very hot either).

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    3. Off topic here, but gotta comment. Medical internships were not highly paid circa 1997. $27K wasn't bad except for the 70-80 hour work weeks and the occasional sociopath attending.

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  13. What a "coincidence" that these "non-profits" sit on a treasure chest, huh? Then again, anyone with an IQ above room temperature understands that "non-profit" is a mere political designation for the purpose of taxation. What's disgusting about this instance is that the cockroach "law professors" cannot be bothered to volunteer their time and energy on this project. They want to rely on those they financially raped to make a sales pitch. That is sickening!

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  14. The Association of American Law Schools (Ass'oALS), a 501(c)(3) lobbying racket, repre$ents 179 Uhmerican law skules and is located expensively in downtown Washington, D.C., conveniently near the center of power that furnishes the student-loan boondoggle on which we Ass'oALS depend. We Ass'oALS are seeking unemployable dupes to ghostwrite propaganda and otherwise support our mi$$ion of bilking the public. Candidates must be current J.D. students. Unlike the criminally overpaid sinecures of our in-house scamsters and the staff of our member institutions, these positions don't pay a red cent; thus they offer excellent preparation for life after law school.

    The myrmidons stupid or sycophantic enough to kiss our asses will work 15-20 hours per week during the school year (which is the most that they would be allowed to work for pay during law school—but of course we won't pay them at all, ha, ha!) and full time during the summer at our lavishly appointed Dupont Circle headquarters office, and will dance attendance directly upon aristocratic Profe$$or Judith Areen, Executive Director, and Profe$$or Regina Burch, Associate Director. Lackeys will have the opportunity to fawn upon other law-school profe$$ors and scam-deans through their work with Ass'oALS committees and the Ass'oALS leadership team, as well as to serve cognac and caviar at Ass'oALS-sponsored meetings and conferences (livery provided at the lackeys' expense). Lackeys will be encouraged to present innovative flim-flam schemes with which to addre$$ general i$$ues facing the law-school scam today.

    Specifically, lackeys will assist committees of law professors through fabrication and ghostwriting on topics related to the law-school scam; for example, the value of a U.S. legal "education" to law-school profiteers. They will also research Ass'oALS workshop topics such as perpetuating federally guaranteed student loans, creating bibliographies and proposing policy towards our nefarious ends. Also, lackeys will assist with developing propaganda and other lies for Ass'oALS programs, for example by touting what pass for innovative curricular programs in legal education and the American Bar Association standards related to those programs.

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  15. "...this crop of law students will never be known for their stellar intellects. "

    What do you expect from the wannabe Jedi Knights of Social Justice?

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  16. Wow! WOW! The law schools expect students, the vast majority of whom are deeply in debt, to work for them for free, really blows the mind. Especially in such an expensive city.
    In my old neighborhood, this would have been called, getting kicked in the @$$.

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    1. Captain Hurska Carswell, Continuance KingJanuary 15, 2016 at 8:39 AM

      I might be wrong, Old Guy, Old Ruster, Nando and your's truly were not zoomers in law school. I thought the artificial construct of law school was bullshit. Not real. The way the professors would rant and rave. I studied when I had to and borrowed notes from a colleague who's father was a tax attorney to pass Federal Taxation. I played a lot of Road Blasters and goofed around. These internships are for the zoomers...not us. We know how to get somebody out of jail and know how to get some 5 X DUI mope his license back. Not these zoomers. There is a niche for everybody....

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    2. I was a zoomer, if by that you mean a diligent student. I always went fully prepared for every class, having read all assigned readings (including the optional ones). I didn't miss lectures. I excelled, graduating among the top few in the class—while also working at various odd jobs, publishing legal research, editing the flagship law review, doing volunteer work, and otherwise staying busy. I've never heard of Road Blasters, nor did I goof around.

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    3. Captain Hurska Carswell, Continuance KingJanuary 17, 2016 at 4:52 PM

      Did you invent the Internet too? It took me awhile to get the "hang" of law school and adjust. Also, I had no other choice but to goof around; the females were just to cute. If Mrs. Palsgraff were single, I probably would have asked her out too. Those were my halcyon days. It begs the question: If you were such a zoomer, what the hell happened that you are posting here and other scam blog sites? Are you altruistically doing this for Social Justice?

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    4. Is it possible to work during law school? In medical school, the one guy that was supposed to work part time at a pre-arranged understanding, quit within the first month.

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    5. By glutting the legal job market to an absurd degree, the schools are also putting major pressure on the "zoomers". The very fact that the T14 alone belches out as many graduates as they do hits BigLaw and other prestige recruiting. Since they have more than enough premiere candidates, they can afford to hold a beauty contest even among the top echelon of graduates. So people who aren't charming, or connected, or young enough can have a nasty time.

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  17. Just when I think this whole law school mess can't get more insane, it does.

    Working for free, in one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in, for an "internship" that will not teach any marketable skills (unless you want to be a law prof, and we know how that job market looks), for a boss who makes $459K per year on the backs of taxpayers. I just have to see who is crazy enough to agree to this.

    It's too early in the day to start drinking.

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    1. Boomer mentality pervades everywhere today, especially in law. These idiots will bandy around words like "prestige" and "noble" and "exclusive" and "opportunity" whilst conveniently forgetting about other words such as "expenses", "debt", "rent", "food and shelter", "gas", and "car payment" because they unfortunately now sit at the helms of business and organizations like this one and, being at the top of the Scam Pyramid and making $460k per year - well off the first level of Maslow's hierarchy of needs - they have no concept of the Real World or what it's like today for people starting out and trying to survive.

      These ass-hats, essentially, were never forced to grow up and were lucky enough to ride every high wave.

      And, FFS, that fat pig doesn't look like she's missed too many meals..

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    2. That's what goes through my mind when people talk about the fulfillment that a college education brings; personal edification doesn't pay the bills, buy food, or put gas in the car. This may come as a shock to the Boomers, but lots of us need money to live on. A useless degree in law doesn't help us reach that goal.

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    3. Thank you, 10:16 AM.

      You may also want to take a look at this:

      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/3/31/1079524/-Shot-Across-my-Boomer-Bow

      Yet, the Boomers take endless delight in criticizing young people, and X'ers too, as being lazy and entitled.

      Pretty laughable from the group that propounded "tuning in and dropping out". The group which harped: "Never trust anyone over 30." yet today wants everyone to trust and respect them. The group that was against wars - yet now is so proud when their idiot duped kids join the military and fight for that oil..

      The same group that demands everyone now pay and take care of them in their advancing age was the group that dropped LCD and acid and fucked each other silly back in 1965 while doing everything they could to avoid an honest job and responsibility.

      The same group - that sold out. And let's be honest: They sold out ALL the WAY. 110%.

      So when The Most Important People walk into the room, I'm the one tuning out.. If you listen to a thing these people say, it'll be to your detriment. They have no qualms about using anyone to further their own goals and pad their own nests.

      Biggest group of self-important, pompous hypocrites I've ever seen in my life without question.

      I'm the one propounding learning a trade on other boards and skipping college. Do not - DO NOT - pay a dime into this broken System. Don't go into debt to it one bit.. Not 5c.. You'll never get out what you put in in today's economy.

      Sorry to say but the only way to win is to go around it, not through it. The Boomers exemplify Reverse Robin-Hooding and so, so many are in academia earning a dishonest living.

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    4. Generation X has been fucked up, down, and sideways by the baby boomers. The millennials haven't fared much better.

      No doubt about it: the boomers are the worst generation ever to cast a pall on this planet.

      I agree with the suggestion of learning a trade. I should have done that rather than going to university.

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    5. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingJanuary 19, 2016 at 11:37 PM

      The only problem I have with Boomers is that they demanded TAX breaks during their highest earning years during the 80s and 90s So now we have no government budgets to hire lawyers and police that are sorely needed. We end up with "Flint, Michigan" and a collapsed Minneapolis traffic bridge. I know many attorney Boomers who are suffering in this over saturated legal market. I am not one to point fingers at one particular group. I blame the ABA, greedy Deans and the unranked correspondence like law schools.

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    6. Well, as long as we're discussing the Baby Boomers again, allow me to throw in my own $0.02, which I've been meaning to do for quite a while now...

      I don't hate ALL Boomers (that would hardly be any better than them hating all Millennials and Gen-Y-ers; there are exceptions to every rule, I know quite a few Boomers who are sympathetic to the cause), but just the ones who spout this hypocritical BS and who set their kids up to fail. The same ones who forced their kids to go to college for useless degrees at insane tuition costs, and then turned around and blamed them for having tons of debt and no decent job.

      I also find it hypocritical in that case, when it comes to the job market. Think about it: When the Boomers themselves can't find jobs with all their years of experience, they cry "age discrimination!" But then their eager yet inexperienced Millennial progeny can't get jobs, well, "they're obviously lazy and entitled!"

      And another thing which I've noticed might be WHY the Boomers attack the kids like this: Because Millennials might be the only "safe" group left to attack. Bear with me as I explain... a lot of older folks like Boomers tend to be Republicans, conservatives, and right-wingers while a lot of younger folks like Millennials tend to be Democrats, liberals, and left-wingers (although, obviously, there's plenty of exceptions in both cases). For the past several years, especially with Obama as president, they've needed someone to blame for putting him into power and "wrecking the country." But they can't attack non-white minorities and immigrants, or women, or the LGBT community, because they would then be accused of racism or bigotry or sexism or homophobia or whatever. Who does that leave? All the young people of the Millennial generation, of course! Apparently, ageism isn't as big a perceived sin as all those other things. I've seen firsthand all the remarks by right-wing commenters saying things like "serves the college kids right, this is what they getting for voting for Obama!" but very little of that for any of the other groups.

      How about it, does my theory hold up? I could be wrong.

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    7. It makes sense and also proves my point re: them selling out. A group that goes from head-band wearing, "Flower Power", anti-war, beatnik, peace-loving hippies to suit-and-tie Reaganite conservatives is.. a bunch of sell-outs.

      I understand what you are saying but as an X'er myself like Old Guy and having been roundly used and abused in the workforce by these two-faced ass-hats, I would never, ever, ever trust a word that they say.

      Bottom-line: No matter what they might say, and no matter how sympathetic some might be, they aren't in our shoes and never will be. It seems to always be about them getting theirs at the expense of someone else and this blog entry is, again, another illustration of this fact.

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    8. It's not about hating each individual boomer (although a professor of mine, herself on the late end of the baby boom although she seemed to regard herself as early Generation X, once confided that she hated the baby boomers, one and all). As a group, they have benefited enormously from cheap universities, cheap housing, easy credit, high-paying jobs, upward mobility, professional opportunity, relatively secure employment, low taxes, richly funded entitlement programs—and have gone about ruining everything for the subsequent generations (especially Generation X) in their rapacious efforts to grab as much possible for themselves.

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    9. Don't worry, I totally agree with you guys and get what you're saying. Indeed, the hypocrisy is sickening and staggering: The same people who as youths partied hard at Woodstock and protested the Vietnam War to stick it to society then turned around and threw their own children into the educational meat-grinder because society told them to do it. Even now, they tell us to endure and tolerate a horrible situation which they themselves never endured and never would have tolerated.

      And here's my new motto: "Don't trust anyone born before 1965." (well, give or take a few years...)

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  18. How can they sleep?

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    1. Captain Hurska Carswell, Continuance KingJanuary 15, 2016 at 4:39 PM

      Speaking of sleep, are you suggesting that these are Monica Lewinsky type of interns?

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  19. I've always thought unpaid labor was slavery. But apparently I'm wrong, and it isn't.

    I don't know why the South didn't just classify the slaves as "interns", could have prevented that whole war.

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    1. Captain Hurska Carswell, Continuance KingJanuary 16, 2016 at 8:34 AM

      You must be an AAMPLE enrollee of the Larry Layton School of law. That peculiar institution of slavery is hugely different. Free Will. One is done freely and voluntarily, dummy....

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  20. Law schools and law school associations need to be run by people who have actual experience with legal practice and employment outside of academia. The crisis has been going on for years and yet this one critical piece has not changed.

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  21. But Anon. @ 5:58 PM - that's a needed aspect of the scam. These schools know they don't need or want the truth coming out of their staff. They don't want an actual lawyer telling students how the world (and the school) actually is, how law is demoralizing drudgery with punishing hours - if you can get clients. They need PR fantasy promoters, not professionals.

    That's why the staff gets such a cut of the profits - to keep them going along with the sham even if on some level it violates their ethical-moral code. The real profits go to people whose names we don't discuss. People who don't life a finger to get a cut, I imagine.

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  22. This can be easily fixed and with enough time, probably will be.

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