Thursday, July 28, 2016

Arizona Summit SBA President Defends His Beloved School’s Fellowship Program From OTLSS "Malice"

This is an era of rampant and distressing cynicism and mistrust, especially among our nation's downwardly-mobile and debt-drenched youth. Therefore, we at OTLSS find it moving that there are still students who adhere to the upbeat perspective best expressed by the Beach Boys, circa 1963: "So be true to your school. Rah rah rah rah sis boom bah. Just like you would to your girl or guy." That the Beach Boys's lyrics did not specify law schools owned by rapacious private equity firms and featuring bottom-of-the-barrel bar passage and employment rates can only be attributed to faulty songwriting.

The commentary below was written by a person who identifies himself as Warren Bingham, President of the Arizona Summit Student Bar Association. It was submitted as a thread comment on on our last post, which is entitled "Is Arizona Summit's 2016 Legal Residency Fellowship Program designed to persuade law grads to delay taking the bar exam?"

Mr. Bingham’s comment deserves its own headline post. A blog like this should not be a mere echo chamber of negativity about law schools. True, we at OTLSS may not be completely comfortable with being deemed malicious, ignorant, immature, incomplete, or speaking about things that do not concern us. But we have thick skins, and besides, harsher things have been said about us by the legal academy's leading philosophers, econometricians, and film critics.

Our appreciation for Mr. Bingham’s contribution comes with a caveat. As revealed on this blog, the Arizona Summit (ASLS) student handbook requires that "persons who choose to associate with ASLS actively support its mission, culture, and business purposes and not engage in activities or conduct that are detrimental to the brand, image, or values of InfiLaw or ASLS." Free and lively debate remains the pride of our faltering democracy. However, an official who asserts the good intentions and noble practices of his dissent-squelching institution, even in an unfriendly forum, may be doing the duty of a shill rather than that of a citizen. 

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If a student doesn't feel "ready" to take the bar, is it so negative to study for an extra few months before taking the exam? Is the extra support really an issue?

Based upon the author's biased article, I imagine that he would respond to my questions by saying something along the lines of, "they would be 'ready' if they didn't attend a TTTT school" or "those jobs are handouts."

The truth is, the school has low bar passage rates and is expensive. At this point, I think that's it's pretty safe to assume we all know this. Law school, in general, is not easy, nor is it cheap.

So with information as attainable as this, why would it be necessary to share these facts in an article about the Fellowship program? Why would the author choose to devalue the efforts of the school to help improve its bar passage rates? Why would the author choose to, potentially, harm the students that chose to extend study for a few months, with financial security, by making them feel as though they're not good enough?

From corner to corner, the program aids all parties involved. So why is it such a bad thing? All I can seem to find in this article is malice.

If a Summit student passes the Bar 6 months after she graduates, does that make her any less of a lawyer?

Sometimes I wonder what would possess people to act so ignorantly. More astonishingly, when speaking on things don't even concern them.

If attacking the school and its students makes you feel more complete, then by all means -- do so. Fill that void that you're missing in your life. But understand that there are some that may feel it's not the most mature use of your time.

Warren Bingham
SBA President of Arizona Summit Law

19 comments:

  1. It was brave of Mr. Bingham to submit a comment like this to a scamblog under his own name. Therefore, please, no insults or personal attacks.

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    Replies
    1. Quite right. Gratuitous insulting remarks about brave Mr. Bignose would be inappropriate, if not downright childish.

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    2. I apologize to Mr. Bingham on behalf of the person that commented at 4:41 PM. Mr. Bingham doesn't deserve that. Nobody does.

      I generally agree with this blog, but targeting individual students feels like bullying. Let's focus on the scam and the scammers.

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  2. The SBA president the year after I graduated did not have a job lined up at graduation. One of my fellow Third Tier Drake alums told me that the kid mentioned that in his speech to their graduating class. Hopefully, it turns out better for this man, however Arizona $ummiTTTT is an even bigger cesspit. Have fun servicing those loans.

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  3. I actually give this Bingham chap credit for responding and using his own name. But as long as he is asking OTLSS questions, he might want to “think like a lawyer” and ask himself some questions:

    Q: Why does Arizona Summit have to offer this program in the first place?

    A: Because it has a bar passage rate of only 26% - a statistic which is both shocking and indefensible.

    Q: Why is Arizona Summit’s bar passage rate so appallingly low?

    A: Because it accepts large numbers of students who lack the aptitude to pass the bar (median LSAT 143) and, to be blunt about it, have no business attending law school - any law school.

    Q: Why does Arizona Summit accept large numbers of students with such low aptitude?

    A: Because it can’t find enough qualified students willing to attend and it needs the money.

    P.S. - What’s a man with a name like Warren Bingham II doing going to a trash heap like Arizona Summit? Like Thurston Howell III, he should be going to Harvard!

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  4. Ah, good ol' Stockholm Syndrome. It is pervasive.

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  5. The SBA president doth protest too much, methinks.
    Bill Shakespeare

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  6. "If a Summit student passes the Bar 6 months after she graduates, does that make her any less of a lawyer?"

    No, it doesn't. Just less employable.

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  7. Mr. Bingham, thank you for being honest enough to admit, though not in these words, that your law skule is an overpriced toilet.

    Of course a person who isn't ready for the exam can quite properly spend a few more months on preparation. But that confuses the issue of why Arizona Summit is suddenly offering this new program. Cui bono?

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  8. I wish Mr. Bingham good luck, but what Arizona Summit is doing is indefensible.

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  9. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingJuly 29, 2016 at 4:59 AM

    I heard they accepted Mr. Hi Mc Dunnough.

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  10. Mr. Bingham appears to be an AA male. I have to wonder if he really knows what the law school scam is? Here he is paying through the nose to attend a terrrible law school, with his job propects probably just able nil. Does he think it is justifiable to allow a for-profit law school, to feed on those that can least afford it or probably should not be attending law school.

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  11. If a person doesn't feel "ready" to take the bar exam after spending 3 years in Law School, full time, than there is something seriously wrong with both the law school and some of its graduates. ..

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    Replies
    1. The very existence of the bar exam shows that a law degree does not prove competence in law, even at the rudimentary level evaluated on the exam.

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  12. From Arizona Summit Law School's 2015 ABA Standard 509 Report:

    http://www.azsummitlaw.edu/sites/default/files/Std509InfoReport-202-1368-01-22-2016_01-41-37.pdf

    50th Percentile GPA: 2.88

    50th Percentile LSAT: 143

    Full-Time Tuition and Fees for the Academic Year: $43,966.

    Personally, I think 509 Reports are not a reliable source of information, but even if you take Arizona Summit's 509 Report at face value, it's a scam.

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  13. This school should not be in business. It dates back to the days when there was a bigger demand for law school spots, before the employment statistics were public. Today, with reduced enrollment, they have no reason to exist. They should find other uses for the buildings and investment they made.

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    Replies
    1. Not to quibble, but I would argue that they never had any reason to exist beginning on the day they were founded. It's just that now people know it. Not all people, though, because some poor souls still apply and enroll. Hate to say it, but I increasingly think that those who argue only a few ABA trash pits will fold are right. As admissions standards are cut the prey become dumber and dumber. It's special snowflake syndrome writ small. "Only about a quarter of my school's graduates can pass a bar exam, but that won't happen to me, I'm going to be on law review and probably valedictorian."

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    2. Hey 5:53--
      Just as soon as the feds stop throwing billions of student loan dollars at any and all law students, I'm sure the owners will find other investments.

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