Wednesday, May 4, 2016

University of Maryland School of Law Director of Admissions Katrin Hussman Schroll declares that law school admissions offices have fallen in love with applicants from community colleges



Advice for the lawlorn. It is always gratifying when somebody professes to love you, especially if you are not considered conventionally desirable. Your suitor looks so attractive and speaks so charmingly and seductively of your blissful future together. How can you resist being overwhelmed by fantasies of advantage and fulfillment? 

I am not so cynical as to say that true love can never blossom between a law school admissions committee and a community college student. But if your educational mate really loves you for you, in all your humble uniqueness, how do you explain the salacious gaze it keeps casting at your student loan eligibility? Or its promiscuous offers of tuition favors to anybody wearing a semi-high LSAT score? Or its tawdry reputation for jilting lovers at the employment line?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_xHEapeX-Y

The linked law school recruitment video was posted at the DiscoverLaw site (a LSAC-funded law school recruitment project targeting marginalized communities and the very young), and also on You Tube.  It is entitled  "Law Schools Community College Students." (Yes, with a mash-note valentine representing the verb "love").  On the video, University of Maryland School of Law Director of Admissions Katrin Hussman Schroll declares that admissions committees have been been made to "fall in love" with with community college applicants, beguiled by their tales of hardships overcome and lessons learned. 
"In reviewing files, I have personally seen how students who have attended community colleges around the country are able to highlight how they have faced unique hardships and how they overcame these hardships, and more importantly what they learned from it. And in the process of telling their story, they have made us admissions offices [sic] around the country fall in love with those applicants to the point that we want to bring those experiences to the classroom because we consider those experiences an asset to the type of voices that you bring to law school classes around the country."
(Video at 0:09-0:49) 
I leave it to you to watch the video and evaluate Katrin Hussman Schroll's sincerity. Take her triple repetition of a seemingly unnecessary phrase -- "around the country." Is that a paraverbal indication of scamming or is it a heartfelt way of emphasizing the vast geographical scope of affection flowing to prospective community college applicants from their smitten law school admirers? And what about her eye-rolling, which seems so inconsistent with her earnest tone? Is that an endearing physical manifestation of her infatuation with the community college students of her dreams or might it just possibly be an unconscious gesture of contempt?



53 comments:

  1. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingMay 4, 2016 at 8:03 AM

    Hardship really means, a single unwed mother of several children who made poor choices. Or like Shon Hopwood, Nebraska's Armed Robber turned Federal Judicial Clerk. We used to call them nitwits, now they are celebrated as heroes! At 26, she decided to attend Phoenix part time and is an assistant shift manager at Wendy's shouting for $15.00. She got inspired by the local organizer and is going to attend Marshall or Indiana Tech's evening program.

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  2. Disgusting. There was a time when these elitist law school scammers wouldn't have deigned to glance at community college students, not even to sneer at them. But now that more students from traditional colleges are wising up to the scam, isn't it funny how law school administrators have suddenly discovered the value, and life-experiences and unique perspectives (blah, blah, blah) that community college students bring to the table? This is almost as disgusting as the law schools' sudden embrace of "diversity." I am constantly amazed by how low these scammers will sink in the pursuit of new student-loan-conduits. They have absolutely no integrity at all. The scammers use disingenuous concern for the economically disadvantaged and minorities as a cover for exploiting them, and it's just revolting. The scammers are getting rich while ruining lives, and are sending taxpayers the bill. These people are horrible human beings.

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    1. Just a few years ago, even Cooley wouldn't have deigned to consider people coming out of community colleges.

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    2. Stonemason, Esq.May 5, 2016 at 7:20 PM

      I assume the final evolution will be the development of a literal K-JD program. No longer will it be just a term for people who've ridden the academic train so long that they're too scared to get off, now there will be literal kindergarteners who graduate and immediately enroll in law school.

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  3. Next stop: homele$$ and abu$ed women $helter$, illegal immigrant$ detention center$, AA meeting$ and in$ane a$ylum$. Wait until $he hear$ their $torie$; $he I$ really really going to love them.

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    1. Exactly! I can picture these turds posing as AA "sponsors" or mentors - or whatever the hell they call themselves - popping up at AA meetings "all around the country." They'll have to try a little harder to be more convincing, in order to pull one over on hardboiled alcoholics. Look for them to target the young faces in the crowd.

      "Hello there. I've been sober for 22 years. Are you in school? No? Oh, you're 3 semesters short of your BA? Well, that'll help you stay sober. Don't have the money? Take out student loans! Oh, you're majoring in Film Studies? That's OK. The banks don't care. They'll give you loans anyway. You say you already have $21K in student loans, after you defaulted?! And you only make $12 an hour at Wendy's? Well, do you wanna do that type of work forever? Go back to school, take out some additional student loans. Plus, you won't have to pay back what you owe them now. It'll be like a break from your student loans. Hey, come to think of it, have you ever considered a career in the law? I've read in a bunch of places that those with law degrees make an extra million dollars over the course of their lifetimes! You're 28 now and you'll be 30 by the time you would even start law school? That's no problem! Law firms LOVE hiring non-trad students who bring work and life experience to the table. That will actually help you get the good jobs..."

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    2. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingMay 4, 2016 at 6:29 PM

      Really Nando? $12/Hr. at Wendy's for nuking a hamburger? When can I start? Beats Solo practice....at least I will have steady money coming in..... maybe my Million dollar degree will pay off....maybe as an incentive to getting hired, I can offer to do some legal work for the franchise owner. HIRE ME!!!! I can nuke burgers and get your kid off on his DUI!!! Wow, I never thought of that. Thanks, Nando, buddy.

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  4. Go and look at the uploaded video section of the LSAC's youtube account. It's clear that they are shamelessly pandering to black and hispanic 0Ls. By sheer coincidence (I'm sure) these two groups are the most likely to be first generation college students and/or immigrants or the children of immigrants, unaware of the scam and who picture the legal profession as it existed thirty years ago.

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  5. "I love the poorly educated!" Didn't some notorious con-artist say that just recently?

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  6. I work in a court system that has a diverse group of attorneys and judges. None, I repeat NONE attended a Rank Not Published school. All busted their asses and rose to the high standards and EARNED their positions through hard work. They were not dredged from the bottom of the sewer and asked to be treated like VICTIMS or be given special consideration. Hardship is a nice fuzzy way to say VICTIM. The above is all a sales spiel.

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  7. They want people who have experienced hardship because they'll be less likely to bitch when they're right back in the same place after graduation.

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    1. I had the same thought. Also, for a community college person it is a big achievement to get into law school. So for their purposes, it might be worth it just to be able to brag to family that your are in, or went, to law school.

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  8. always knew this was the next step. I bet they give lots of scholarship too

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    1. this cc recruitment thing was a far-fetched joke and even 2-3 years ago. now it's here

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    2. watch Jon Oliver's segment on for profit schools. they are just following the lead.

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    3. I'll be sure to look up the Jon Oliver bit, but didn't a lot of these for-profit schools (i.e. Corinthian Colleges) get shut down? How many of them are still around?

      And while I'm at it, let me just note the blatant hypocritical double-standard here: If you went to one of those for-profit places, then society will come your aid and you'll even get state governors demanding that you get your money back or at least have your debt forgiven; but if you went to law school, then society will mock and ridicule you for your chosen path and refuse to help you while insisting that you pay back your loans, you loser.

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  9. Wait a minute. Are graduates of community colleges even eligible for admission? I thought that a bachelor's degree was necessary, except in those states (such as Michigan—hello, Cooley) that allow people in after a few semesters towards a bachelor's degree.

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    1. I think they just want to plant the seeds.

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  10. That dreadful "around the country" tic of hers lends an air of faux jet-set grandeur to the law-school scam. She chose unwisely, however (if indeed she possessed and exercised enough intellect to make a choice), for her expansive geographic pretensions clash with the reality of her target audience. As their name implies, community colleges are decidedly local in scope and outlook. Damn near everybody who goes to Council Bluffs Community College is from Council Bluffs or a neighboring town.

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    1. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingMay 5, 2016 at 8:06 AM

      Old Guy,

      How do you know about Council Bluffs, Iowa? They have this Bird Cage jail tourist exhibit that spins around like a top. Kind of cool. They Arby's on the main drag next to the drive through packaged goods store isn't bad. If you enjoy adult entertainment, this is the place for you. Meyer Lansky "settled" the town in response to rigidly conservative Omaha. As Kim Davis might say, the devil holds jurisdiction in Council Bluffs. Not a place for the good folks at Hobby Lobby.

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  11. Does a felony conviction make a person ineligible for federal student loans? If not, expect the scammers to start recruiting at penitentiaries, and creating a prison-to-law-school pipeline. (Of course, these people would never pass Character and Fitness, but who cares? It's not like there are any jobs for them, anyway.) And think of the spin the scam-deans could put on this program: "As a result their intimate, first-hand knowledge of the criminal justice system, these students will be empowered to become warriors for justice for all wrongly incarcerated, international environmental activists!"

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    1. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingMay 5, 2016 at 11:22 AM

      They already do. Shon Hopwood, the Nebraska bank robber is exhibit #1.

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    2. Stonemason, Esq.May 5, 2016 at 7:11 PM

      The combination of the J.D. and the prison record will make them about as employable as a rabid gopher. Then, when they turn to selling glass so that they can make the rent, we can imprison them again, thus meaning that we will NEED to train MORE ex-cons to practice law to handle the growing criminal justice gap! It's practically foolproof!

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  12. I seriously distrust anyone who uses the word "love" in professional correspondence. "Love" is the opposite of "rational" or "reason" and it discounts fact-based assessments required in that lofty goal of "thinking like a lawyer." In fact, it's an admission that Ms. Hussmann had an emotional reaction to a story rather than adding up the numbers in order to assess the ability of the applicant to succeed in law school and pass the bar.

    Everyone has a story. If they tell it properly, someone will fall in love with them. It has nothing to do with the capability to practice law.

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    1. Their "love" for graduates of community colleges is about as sincere and meaningful as a prostitute's "love" for her john. Both putative suitors are motivated by money. Talk of "love" is nothing but cover for ba$e intere$t$.

      I don't think that "the ability ... to succeed in law school and pass the bar" is necessarily determined by "adding up the numbers", although numbers certainly do say a lot. Nor should admissions be based on that ability alone. What about such factors as professional competence and the state of the job market?

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    2. I'm 11:26

      I certainly agree Old Guy (and I am older than you, by the way) that numbers do not tell the whole story. Sure, professional competence and the state of the job market are important, and country club membership in the immediate family is determinative.

      But when assessing a law school candidate:

      Look for reading skills
      And legal instincts
      But stay away from emotion 'cause
      [boom boom]
      Love stinks

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  13. A colleague of mine is going to a post-bac program so he can met the requirements to attend med school. On the other hand, law school is continuing to drop standards. The difference between the two professions is stark indeed.

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  14. I am seething when I read this type of stuff.

    I am in the process of becoming a high school science teacher, although I'd really like to be a guidance counselor. Regardless, I'll be certain to warn ALL my students about the law school scam.

    Call me idealistic, but I really hope to be in a position one day where I can advocate for young kids and protect them from the higher education scammers.

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    1. As you said, higher "education" itself is a scam—mainly a generational one.

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    2. You know it isn't just schools that are in the scam. There are many public interest organizations that promote becoming a lawyer to high school kids and college students. Holding mock trials with the support of law schools and law firms. All to promote the idea of "you can be an important lawyer too." They need to be stopped. These organizations are feeders into the law school scam mostly staffed by less talented former school administration. Usually held in lavish firms or schools or courthouses so kids dream of a life they are, lets face it, never going to have.

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    3. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingMay 6, 2016 at 1:25 PM

      In many ways, you guys are correct. A few years ago, I was trying an Illinois Super Class X Felony drug deal....20 pounds of coke. I was running an entrapment defense. I was up all night, nervously worrying. My guys was looking at a minimum of 15 years. When I left the house at 6:00 to trudge to court, I was famished. I ordered three egg McMuffins. The folks who prepared my Egg McMuffins were the most important people in the world to me that day and their labor was priceless....Without them, I could not have tried my case....That morning, they served justice and I bet they never attended any form of higher education.

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    4. To Anonymous @ 7:59- If you can successfully dissuade your students from making ruinous choices where "higher education" is concerned (not just law school, but higher education in general), then I salute you. In either case, I encourage you to go ahead with your goal of working in a high school and helping the students. But be careful; if any of education's True Believers get a whiff of what you're doing, then they just might toss you out on your ass before you know it. If college is really designed to swindle the youth, then public schools are just there to keep the kids busy, brainwash them and then funnel them into college.
      Although, that being said, I've also humored the idea of becoming a teacher, not just to actually try and teach kids, but also to help them steer clear of the educational scam which [almost] completely ruined me.

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  15. Community college is a scam. At the four-year state university at which I work, transfers from community colleges, with very rare exceptions, either re-take all substantive classes and all major classes, or they flunk out.

    I would be extremely hesitant to hire or admit a community college graduate who did not retake all of substantive and major courses.

    (And don't tell me about the exceptions, e.g., the student who could have gone to Harvard but had to stay home to take care of the family, and while they were at home, went to a community college and then on to great success. I acknowlege these exceptions exist. But they are just that. Exceptions.)

    Bottom line: Don't go to community colleges -- or a law school.

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    1. that's terrible advice. it depends on the individual and the University. it is extremely affordable, and transferring from cc to a university is a sometimes a smarter move than doing all 4 years at university.

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    2. How do you know?

      I know going to community college is a bad choice because I work at a 4 year college and I see almost all of community college students either retake all of their substantive and major classes or flunk out.

      Your argument is like saying "pay $2,000 for the Yugo because its cheaper than the $20,000 for the Toyota" with out acknowledging that, due to the poor quality of the Yugo, you will within a very short period of time pay $2,000 for the Yugo and then have to pay the $20,000 for the Toyota to get a car that actually works.


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    3. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingMay 6, 2016 at 6:17 PM

      When I started law school, I almost bought a new Yugo. They stopped selling Yugos after a lady driving one was blown off the Mackinac Island bridge into the lake. See, being an unemployed or underemployed lawyer with 197K in debt is pretty good when you consider that lady's fate. A pile of mush at the bottom of a lake in a Yugo.

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    4. And there Yugo.

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    5. "At the four-year state university at which I work, transfers from community colleges, with very rare exceptions, either re-take all substantive classes and all major classes, or they flunk out."

      You ever think that maybe there's a selection bias problem there?

      And for that matter, why should community college be judged on solely on the people who transfer to 4-years and do poorly? A large portion of community college students get a 2-year and then are fit to work the majority of jobs out there.

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    6. Community colleges mainly serve people who are getting an associate's degree in a trade. They may fill that purpose very well. Certainly their graduates, in the main, run up a lot less debt and do a lot better financially than the graduates of most law schools.

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    7. CCs are the ideal place for certificate oriented programs. I've been noticing a lot more advertising in my locale for health care programs run from CCs. And in my state, the first two years of tuition is free at CCs. Many millennials don't drive and live at home, so CCs seem to be a good fit.

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    8. I would argue to avoid law school and even traditional undergrad colleges, but MAYBE take a look at community college, depending on what you want to study and what kind of certification you want to get. I'd wager that a 2-year community college degree in auto repair or carpentry or even computer programming would take someone much farther in life than a 4-year undergrad degree in philosophy or woman's studies or the like.

      In fact, I was thinking of maybe going to community college too take adult ed courses. Maybe I'll learn some computer design and animation, just for fun; we'll see...

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    9. I am putting my daughters through college now...public 4 year universities in florida. It's not costing me a fortune because i prepaid for tuituon years ago. They are both majoring in communication, which likely means no job when they graduate.

      But, the way I see it, I am helping to expand their world view and their confidence while they are in school. They will graduate debt free.

      Then, they can go to community ocollege to actually learn a career..whatever they want to do. And through communications, they hopefully are learning a little about communicating, reading, writing.

      I find college a worthwhile investment for them...but I'm not payig sky high prices for them to get it.

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  16. Community colleges are inexpensive, smaller classes..if somebody has the ability, they can easily move to a four year college and to well. It's the person, not the college. I know at least one highly successfull doctor and a highly successful lawyer who both started at community colleges.

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  17. A friend of mine who teaches at a Community College says that they are high schools with a smoking area.

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    1. LOL I went to a high school with a smoking area.

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    2. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingMay 8, 2016 at 8:46 AM

      At a Community College I applied to teach Intro to Criminal Law/Procedure, and got rejected. At that point in my career, I practiced law for 22 years. I was able to snag an interview because my neighbor taught Nursing there. During the interview, the hiring chair told me that he does not want lawyers on his staff. Maybe a "top prosecutor" but that was it for lawyers. He wants Cops with MA's. He told me that he knew my neighbor and out of respect, agreed to interview me but did not want to hire me under any circumstances. He thought a JD was a non-academic degree and not rigorous and that there are "bushel baskets" of lawyers out there. I told him that I would balance out his faculty...it's good to hear the defense perspective. He then told me that if he wanted a defense attorney, he could just "pick up the phone" and "call" a "heavy hitter." I guess, even Community Colleges have standards.

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    3. Sorry Captain. But lawyers are most suited to teach English as a Second Language.

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    4. Most lawyers do not speak, write, or even read English up to the standard of a competent teacher.

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    5. Old Guy, sometimes you resort to hyperbole to make your point. I speak and act a whole heck of a lot better than Karen Lewis, Chicago Teacher's Union President. She openly mocked Education Secretary Arnie Duncan and his speech and called Governor Rauner a terrorist. I have observed Chicago teachers interviewed on TV. Some of them forget that each sentence contains a noun and verb.

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    6. @Captain --- I think you had posted about this story before. As I recall, you're also an administrative judge.

      Regardless, that hiring chair was a total douchebag. Not "rigorous" enough or whatever, he should have been more respectful of you and your time.

      I once showed-up for an interview, and the interviewer wasn't there, and had given no instructions on who was to take his place. The office manager came out and told me that they were looking for someone else to speak with me. When they finally did find someone, that interview lated a good 3 seconds. I spent maybe 1 hour waiting for the interview, and 3 second in the actual interview itself. Unsurprisingly, I did NOT get the job.

      We non-elite lawyers really do come in "bushel baskets."

      @Old Guy --- LOL !!!

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    7. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingMay 9, 2016 at 9:54 PM

      I appreciate the empathy. Yes, he wasted my time. But, I took all of the Entenmanns brownies from the platter and wrapped them in a napkin and took three bottles of water to go....

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    8. Oh, you won't find me saying many good words about so-called professional teachers either, or about ejookayshun in general.

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    9. @Captain- Yes, your story sounds very familiar, I think you've posted this before. Well, in any case, that guy was an asshole, and I would have hired you, for what it's worth.
      And I also hate the attitude of "I'll give you an interview just to humor you because I know the person who recommended you, but I won't ever actually hire you." I don't know why some employers even bother doing that, giving interviews for people they'll never want to hire; maybe they're just a bunch of sadistic bastards who enjoy making the applicants waste their valuable time.

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