Thursday, November 9, 2017

"Whataboutism" and Double-Secret Probation

See if you guys can guess what I am now...I'm a Law School Dean explaining declining admission standards and bar passage rates!  Get it?

According to Florida Costal School of Law Dean DeVito's letter to current law students (h/t to David Frakt for keeping the heat on this issue):

The first major misconception I have heard is that Florida Coastal must have engaged in highly questionable conduct because Florida Coastal is one of just four schools noted on the ABA website.
The facts are:
1.     The ABA has only just started publicly posting this information[...]
2.     There are approximately 23 other law schools listed on the Department of Education website that received an ABA letter relating to non-compliance since 2016 [...]
             a. Schools listed as subject to “Heightened Monitoring or Focused Review”
                    1. Ave Maria School of Law.
                    2. Thurgood Marshall School of Law (Texas Southern University), and
                    3. Valparaiso University School of Law.
            b. Schools listed as subject to “Probation or Equivalent or More Severe Status: Show Cause”
                    4. Appalachian School of Law,
                    5. Arizona Summit School of Law,
                    6.  Florida Coastal,
                        a.  Florida Coastal falls under the “show cause” designation
                    7. John Marshall School of Law (Atlanta),
                    8. Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and
                    9. SUNY Buffalo Law School.
            c.  Schools Listed as “Removal of Show Cause Status[...]”
Well!  Like any good politician, the first move in dealing with embarrassing facts is to reframe and redirect.  "Yeah, we may suck, but what about these OTHER guys, amirite????  They are WAY worse than us...!!!"  I'm not sure of the wisdom of identifying yourself as being in the same company as Valpo, Appalachian, John Marshall or TJSL is the best argument to your current students.  But hey, I'm not a high-priced Law Dean so I dare not question their hard-won Promethean Wisdom.  Those who can, do, and those who can't hang around scamblogs, or something to that effect.
Also, look at these categories:  "Heightened Monitoring or Focused Review,"  "Probation or Equivalent or More Severe Status," etc.  Hilarious.  There is more wiggle room here than a greased eel has in a mud wrestling pit, or something.  How about "Compliant" vs. "Non-compliant" vs. "Sanctioned"?  I mean, I came up with that in under two minutes, but it must be too rigid a definition.  While I guess I am glad the ABA is finally paying attention, I hope the regulators don't develop a hangnail while applying their exacting standards.
By the way, let's not forget that Florida Costal in merely in the "show cause" category, as highlighted by Dean DeVito.  Charleston, George Mason, Hofstra and Loyola also had show cause designations, and those were eventually lifted.  Whew, pressure's off!  Take that, you T14 snobs!
Although LSAT-takers are again on the rise, I think it will take some more Deansplainin' to get over this hump and convince them to apply.  Can't wait for the next round of "it's somebody else's fault" argumentation from the Law School Cartel.  


  1. The school's main argument is essentially, "Our reputation is lower than crocodile piss, but that's the case with dozens of other law schools. So we're good."

  2. If you really want to make your head hurt, go back several years and read all of the good dean's quotes. He should have been the publicist for the Hindenburg("Ok, it exploded, but don't forget: it got to the gate 5 minutes early. You people just want to emphasize the negative....")

    1. At least under Mussolini the trains ran on time.

    2. And on the Titanic, the lifeboats had competitive seating....

  3. These people (the law school cartel) lie about everything. God help anyone who hasn't realized that yet.

  4. I could be publicly embarrassing myself, but here's an idea. We go to the websites of a couple of Biglaw firms, identify a couple of clients that they brag about, then announce a boycott of their products. I know it seems that there aren't enough of us to make a gnat's-piss of a difference, but we have to do something. Maybe if we all told our brothers, sisters, and friends, maybe then... Ah, probably not. The point is, we have to make something practical happen, or the whole situation will just keep spinning it's lies and bad consequences.

  5. Thomas Jefferson SoL no longer owns their own buildings and is right on the razor's edge of total collapse if another recession hits. It would be better if they shut the school down now to avoid all the overblown histrionics that will happen when Thomas Jefferson implodes suddenly.

    1. The Thomas Jefferson School of Law has been placed on probation by the ABA.

      Meanwhile, the ABA has taken Valparaiso (Valpo) off probation. A school with 30% unemployment, a similar percentage of marginal employment, and test scores in the 140s can hardly deserve scrutiny from the ABA.

  6. Watch California for more fallout in this vein. The CA Sup Ct refused to lower the cut score for the bar just a week or so ago despite the cries of scam deans that failing to do so would prevent them further enriching themselves by destroying the lives of brown skinned persons who trusted them and their social justice proclaiming ways.

    The pass rates are absolutely embarrassing and some of those nose-diving the worst are schools that slashed their admissions and expected to skate unscathed on their reputations (built in the past) as respectable schools. Santa Clara, Davis, Hastings. All the stand-alone schools will seek secondary accreditation besides ABA, so that they don't lose federal funds if they lose their ABA accreditation. Just you watch, graduation from a WASC, etc accredited institution will supplant the ABA as the approved degree to sit for a bar exam. It's a scam, folks.

    A whole bunch of accrediting agencies really, really need to lose their federal recognition, starting with WASC... that is the accreditation that gets you the federal cheese if you are affiliated with an undergraduate institution, not the ABA accreditation.

    WASC still had its gold star seal of approval on Corinthian the day the DOE shut them down for fraud. Much like having a AAA rating on a subprime RMBS the day its value goes to $0.00. Pop quiz: which stand-alone law school accredited by the ABA sought and obtained WASC accreditation in the past few years? Hastings. These assholes know what is coming for them. Which school had a 51% pass rate on the July 2016 bar when the statewide average was 62%? Hastings.

    This is nothing but another lovely chapter in the tales of industries that get to regulate themselves.

    But no worries, I'm sure the pussy-grabber-in-chief will attend to this swamp right after he's done repealing the student loan interest deduction. If proles want an interest rate subsidy they can buy themselves a yyyuuuuggggeee second home with principal indebtedness of a million or less.

  7. So all the ABA had to do all these years was send a letter and mention a few schools on their website, and the schools would start attacking each other like wild hyenas exposing everything?

    But instead of doing that, all this time they just claimed some nonsense about how Un-Constitutional it would be not to approve every law school and the DOE was complicit in making students into loan conduits.

    There's a lot of blame to go around, but isn't it amazing just how simple it really all is? All it ever would have taken is for some organizations to come out and list the truth, instead of being complicit in outright fraud, and I know none of them admit any of it was fraud, so call it stretching the truth if you wish, but it was obviously not open and honest.

    1. Apparently, everything becomes very, very complicated and morally murky when huge amounts of money, status, power are involved. Just as Rose McGowan, et al. *hat tip to the comments below.

  8. "Look, baby, like 10% of the guys in here have stage 3 syphillis."

  9. You should have a post about sexual harassment by law professors against students. I bet you'd get a lot of comments.