Friday, August 5, 2016

USDA to fund toilet law school in Vermont?

Vermont Law School 'n' Apple Orchard is seeking funds from the US Department of Agriculture:

https://vtdigger.org/2016/07/24/vermont-law-school-seeking-federal-loan-to-ease-debt-costs/

It has applied under a program for "essential community facilities". Vermont Law Skule must prove that it "provides an essential service to the local community for the orderly development of the community in a primarily rural area" and does not fall into the category of "private, commercial or business undertakings".

Let's deal with the second part of that first. Vermont Law Skule is in fact a private undertaking. That alone should disqualify it, right off the bat, if anyone at the USDA is paying attention to uncontroversial facts.

Now, as for the first part, let me first tell you a bit about the "community" of South Royalton. I've been there. It does not even count as a crossroads. There is no traffic signal; indeed, there is nowhere to put one. Driving past dairy farms that have seen better days, one passes a sign announcing the unincorporated settlement of South Royalton. On the west side of the two-lane highway is a dated gas station with a cardboard sign in the window announcing hand-made maple-tapping buckets for sale. Directly across the highway is Vermont Law School. Behind the law skule stands a little row of shops consisting of a bar, a bookstore, and perhaps three or four other establishments. And of course there's some housing, almost all of it for people affiliated with the law skule.

That's just about it. The nearest grocery store is half an hour away, in New Hampshire.

In other words, Vermont Law Skule is the community, if indeed there is any community at all. So how can it justify itself as an "essential community facility"? Shut Vermont Law Skule down (please, please do!), and you shut down the "community" as well. Sure, a few dairy farmers would remain, as would the proprietor of the gas station with the maple-tapping buckets. Big fucking deal. That doesn't warrant $15 million in federal funds.

Under the auspices of the Department of Agriculture and the signboard of "rural development", a godawful private law skule may get to siphon off federal funds with which to line the pockets of a few dozen upper-crusty hackademic shitheels. What's wrong with this picture?


19 comments:

  1. I can see some cross promos here, such as Ben & Jerry's Toilet Tracks. Or Ben & Jerry's Maple Excrement.

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  2. The USDA is supposed to support economic growth. Generally, lawyers retard economic growth. Generally, law school debt retards economic growth.

    Don't be a retard. Don't approve this application. Don't go to this law school. And close the place down.

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  3. Great write-up, Old Guy!

    Hey, I want to turn my backyard into a miniature farm so I can grow more nutritious vegetables -- maybe I should ask the USDA for cash?
    (DISCLAIMER: Really, I'm not joking; I do grow some of my own vegetables.)

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  4. Sounds like this dump is in trouble. Basically this scheme will allow VLS to restructure it's outstanding debt and save a few hundred thousand dollars a year servicing the debt. This is the law school equivalent of scrounging through the couch cushions for quarters. As Nando pointed out on his blog recently, the Dean is stepping down and a Vice Dean is leaving to head up one of those unaccredited shitholes out in California. Why could that be?

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  5. Replies
    1. Looks like a bustling metropolis. Surely legal work is plentiful there.

      And if a VLS grad fails to land a position at one of South Royalton's many reputable law firms, the nearest large city, Boston, is only two hours away. It's not like there are many law schools there, right?

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    2. Yep. BTW, here's the sap bucket sign that Old Guy mentioned. I hope it becomes the new VLS meme.

      Hand Painted Sap Buckets

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    3. I'll be damned. Thanks for finding that photo. I passed through that area a few years ago, mainly to see that supposedly glorious international haven of environmental law. But I didn't expect that the sign about sap buckets would still be there. I wish that I had stopped in and looked at the sap buckets—probably a damn sight more interesting and useful than the law skule just across the White River.

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  6. See:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-08-08/crack-down-on-law-schools-that-don-t-pass-the-bar

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  7. Mission creep--it's a textbook example of a government agency spending as much money as it can in order to protect its turf, keep its funding, and stay at its current size/budget (or expand). Whether the use of the money is actually a good idea, or in the best interests of the taxpayers, is irrelevant.

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  8. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingAugust 10, 2016 at 1:18 PM

    Even Sears Holdings and Sports Authority has enough sense to realize that they reached the end of the road. How many Kmarts do we need? How many law schools do we need? Yes, some folks still shop at Kmart...and yes, some students will choose to attend these John Marshall Cooleys.

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  9. I've got a solution! Maybe the school can only put 15% of its net operating income towards its debt, and, at the end of 25 years, the balance is forgiven and is taxable income. Win-win for everyone, right?

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    Replies
    1. This.. made me laugh.

      Something like this would never be acceptable to an operation dragging in 25-26m per year, a D/I Ratio - use the Student Loan Calculator, lol! - more than sufficient to actually pay down/pay off the debt.

      Yet, somehow, it's been passed off as palatable to people who are essentially perpetual Debt Serfs and will never be out of debt until retirement, if then .. and will have a Tax Bomb blow up in their faces.

      Sure, sure.. Sounds good 'tho!

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  10. But, but, but...critical, timely, game-changing legal scholarship...!

    No? Um, how about...diversity and underserved litigants...!

    No? Um, um, how about..."defending liberty" and "pursuing justice...?" Yeah! That's the ticket...!

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    Replies
    1. Just think of all the dolphins in landlocked Vermont that are crying for representation!

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  11. USDA is a weird gub'mint agency. I was able to purchase mature "whip" trees for a mere fraction of the private market purchase price from the USDA because we live "near" a watershed. All I had to do to get my Obama Phone government cheese trees was orally tell them I lived in the watershed area. No verification if I took my Oaks, Sycamores, maples to a large city nowhere near a watershed.

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  12. This site should cover the debate between the ABA and historically black law schools over the 75% bar passage rate in two years after graduation. it is mind boggling that these law schools say they need to scam 25% of their class to stay open.

    My take is that if law these schools cannot meet the bar passage rate, they need to shrink their classes or close or merge if it is not economically viable to shrink.

    There is no justification for filling a law school class with this many students who cannot pass the bar.

    It may be that because of severe lawyer oversupply and economic upheaval in the legal profession that these law schools no longer serve the purpose they once served.

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  13. Old Guy/Duped/Dybbuk123, did you see this?


    "Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who attended Harvard Law and practiced law for five years before getting into finance, seems to think not.

    "'Of course, you get a lot out of law school — you learn a lot — but the most you get out of law school is debt,' Blankfein recently told a group of Goldman interns."

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