Saturday, December 30, 2017

Recapitulating 2017

The great Giordano Bruno wrote that in England "regna una costellazione di pedantesca ostinatissima ignoranza et presunzione: mista con una rustica incivilità che farebbe prevaricar la pazienza di Giobbe": "there reigns a constellation of pedantic and most stubborn ignorance and presumption, blended with a sort of boorish incivility that would try the patience of Job".

Imagine what he would have said about legal hackademia in the era of Leong, Dougie Fresh, Lamparello, McElroy, Adelson, Franzese, and Leiter.

The year 2017 may mark a turning point in the law-school scam. For the first time we have seen not just mergers and closures of single campuses, but outright and even immediate closures of entire law schools: Indiana Tech, Whittier, Charlotte. The ABA has finally set its rubber stamp of approval down long enough to take initial steps towards disciplinary proceedings against various toilets. The InfiLaw duo appear to be slated for collapse within the year, and other law schools too may not be long for this world.

Before moving into 2018, we should all thank Nando, whose important blog Third Tier Reality has offered important anti-scam commentary and agitation for more than eight years. This week Nando announced that he will no longer develop his blog. We wish him well and thank him again for his yeoman service to the noble cause of demolishing the law-school scam.

Also worthy of everyone's appreciation are authors such as Dybbuk, Duped Non-Traditional, Law School Truth Center, and OTLSS Team, as well as the many other commentators who regularly post here.

Unfortunately, the law-school scam may be experiencing a recrudescence. Lemmings, it seems, are taking a renewed interest in law school, and they're going for the toilety end. The failure of ├╝ber-toilets Indiana Tech, Whittier, and Charlotte does not necessarily spell doom for the 190 or so other well-deserving candidates for closure; on the contrary, it may breathe new life into some of them. We shall therefore keep the anti-scam movement going, albeit perhaps at a lower pitch.

Happy new year to everyone (scamsters excepted).


  1. With Nando gone, OTLSS is really the last major scam blog with any type of consistent activity.

    2009-2010 had a lot of activity. But after that, most scam blogs really fell off. I guess there is only so long and so many voices that can put that message out. the 2011 NYT article should really have been it for most law schools.

    Yet the lemmings kept enrolling, the quality of the students got worse and worse, and the tuition kept increasing while the career prospects only got worse.

    Perhaps the law schools have just settled into their new normal. I don't really follow the scam movement or any legal based forums at all now, as I've most moved on. I did check Nando's site a few times a year, and then checked this site (usually from the sidebar). I'd hoped to see more school closings or a major drop in applications, but it never really seemed to happen. I'll still check in on this one sometimes as long as it also lives, but I don't really expect much more to happen. And eventually Old Guy and the rest of OTLSS will also fade away. Who knows if anybody will replace them, as most intelligent people won't go to law school now, and most of the fools that go are too lazy to research anything or write their own blog.

    1. My instinct is that as long as the scammers continue to scam, their opponents should answer, albeit maybe now at a lower pitch or frequency, as Old Guy says.

      It isn't only about trying to persuade people, it is also about upholding the dignity of our profession, whatever is left of it, against a really staggering betrayal of trust. The scammers may get rich and comfy off the destruction of the lives of vulnerable young people, but at least our blogs can assure that sometimes they get a little bit of embarrassing blowback in the form of well-deserved public criticism and mockery.

      I also think that scamblog commenting provides a psychologically healthy outlet for some scam victims.

      I mostly agree that kids attending law school in 2018 shoulder a considerable part of the blame for bad outcomes, now that so much reliable info is available online. However, I still can sympathize with the confusion and naivete of a young person when pitted against the canny marketing and public relations expertise of law school professionals. The law schools will claim that the defects in legal education are exaggerated or are being addressed, or that the new tech-oriented economy will need a lot of legally-trained minds going forward, or even that becoming a lawyer is the best way to stand up for immigrants and others targeted by the unpopular President.

    2. Yes, it's a staggering betrayal of trust. Grasping, cynical, self-preserving scamsters have dragged our noble and important profession through the mud, turning it into something "for everyone" (as scamster and snake in the grass Frank Wu wrote in You Ass News) and striving to ruin it with ever-lower standards. They claim that every knuckle-dragging idiot, however low the LSAT score, can and should practice law. Effectively they reduce law to an unskilled occupation, one for which the only qualification is a fistful of cretinous courses on "Hip-Hop and the American Constitution" or "Counter-Narratives of the Open Road".

      I'm delighted to watch some of the mighty fall. Plenty of arrogant trash from Indiana Tech has traded tenured sinecures for temporary jobs teaching first-year legal writing—out of "a desire to pursue other employment opportunities". Unfortunately, some hackademic scamsters who are leong overdue for a literal or figurative thrashing continue to live high on the hog, thanks to the privileges of their aristocratic socio-economic status and birthright.

  2. Hopefully the Republican Congress takes action in the few months while they are likely to have a majority to shutter the Law School Scam. It would be great if law schools were required to have a full-time permanent placement rate in jobs requiring a JD that are not law school funded of at least 80% as a condition of receiving a single penny of federal loan dollars in addition to limiting tuition that law schools can charge, which the Congress is already considering.

    Another factor that absolutely needs to be taken into account is the overall number of attorney jobs and the serious longitudinal oversupply with only 619,000 establishment jobs (which includes law firm partners) and over 1.3 million licensed attorneys. If there are fewer than 800,000 attorney jobs in the US, including solos, it would be great if any new educational bill conditioned any federal law student loans for a law school on that law school limiting its enrollment to a percentage of its current enrollment equal to to 800,000 divided by say 35 years (for the average career), which equals about 22,800, in turn divided by the numbers in the first year law school classes of all accredited law schools or about 33,000. Effectively each law school would have to drop its next year's enrollment by a third to take into account the existing oversupply of lawyers and the overall number of lawyer jobs.

    Both proposals lead to the same numbers- about 22,000 to 23,000 law school graduates a year. With this number, the law school scam as well as the longitudinal oversupply of lawyers would eventually disappear, although that would take many, many years.

  3. The real immediate enemy is the availability of federal loans for education. And the real idea powering that is the ridiculous 'education is always good'. Its that core idea that we have to attack; the fact that more education is not better, and the fact that university education now has flipped from being a positive to a likely negative for most students. Once we demolish the education and university myth, the student loan scheme will be next for chopping, and that really really will be the end of the law school scam.

    It wont be easy. Education has wormed its way into our thinking as a positive and its a very powerful narrative, but challenging that narrative (by the obvious fact that education is a disaster) is the way to end the scam once and for all. Then the theiving law deans and professors can get real jobs.

    1. whomever advanced the notion that institutions had a monopoly on education was selling the original crock of shit. they don't. for instance, the education that is necessary for most employment is so far different from the sort of 'general education' that institutions require students to purchase that it has no utility. education that does actually key exactly to employment is few and far between. the truly adept educate themselves.

      education for its own sake is something i greatly believe in, but the very first thing that sticks out about education for its own sake is that it is frivolity and one should never pay an arm and leg for frivolity - particularly when the internet has made the miracle of loaves and fishes out of information, discussion, instruction. frivolity/ leisure have to be purchased with surplus, with savings. debt-financing leisure is straight up stupid.

      how much of your education was nothing other than masturbation by professors concerning their egos, their pet theories, themselves? how much of it could have come to you in no way other than being professed at?

    2. My kids graduated from highschool at 18 and are now both attending public Universities. They are increasing their writing and reading abilities, hopefully their critical thinking abilities. They are learning things they never would have learned without going to school. They are also increasing their social being college educated...which is highly important in all walks of life. The tuition is reasonable...its the people who pay so much for so little at the private colleges or at the overly expensive public colleges who are making a mistake imho. Tuition at some undergraduate privates significantly exceeds the cost of law school tuition... so it might be argued that the educational system itself is a huge scam by those who allow themselves to be scammed. But I don't feel the public university education is a scam. It may or may not benefit my kids by way of a better economic outlook (although statistically, college students still have far more opportunities available to them) but they will be better people for the education. And they still have time to learn skills that will lead to a job after they get their degrees, even if it means getting a degree in paralegal studies :-).

    3. the problem with historical stats about the ROI of a college education is that they're historical

  4. The real enemy is the student loan scheme, and behind that the ridiculous education is better myth. As that myth is destroyed (by the disastrous results of grads) then the loans scheme can be finally be destroyed. No loans-no law school scam.

  5. This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

    Let's take this New Year to gratefully acknowledge all of those bloggers who have worked courageously to help expose the reality of law school and show it for what it is. Yet let's also not forget that the law schools are still able to perpetuate their practices, albeit to a lesser degree, given the public's general ignorance of the reality of the law business (eg, bimodal distribution, up-and-out jobs) coupled with the stubborn prestige that clings to the notion of being an esquire ('my son the lawyer'). And then there's the opioid of loan money.

    Young people are being born every day that will encounter the concept of law school for the very first time. So the mission goes on. The message continues. Sunshine is among the best of disinfectants.

    Thanks for bringing so much light into the profession and into young lives.

    Happy New Year. Enjoy the day, family/friends, and give thanks for what's good in your life.

    Then it's back to work, shining a beam of truth into a murky sea.

  6. My fellow scam bloggers we are all prophets at the end of the day.

    Paul Campos, Dybbuk, Third Tier Reality, Nando and all of us are all prophets. I sincerely believe this.

    The law school scam is just the beginning. Liberal arts degrees get their degrees and major in political science and then think they are going to work for the United Nations and prosecute war criminal.

    What's great right now is President Trump is helping our movement.

    "At this stage in his political life, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump doesn’t like liberals. And apparently he doesn’t particularly care for liberal-arts majors either, because the man in charge of Trump’s policy said this month that Trump wants to make it harder for liberal arts majors to secure student loans.

    Sam Clovis, the Trump campaign’s national co-chair and policy director, told Inside Higher Ed that the idea was formulated based on the assumption that it’s more difficult for those with a liberal arts degree to get a job once they’ve graduated."

    10-15 years from now, Paul Campos, Dybbuk, Third Tier Reality, and Nando will all be remembered as prophets. I can't wait :) I'm honored to be all in your presense.

  7. Regrettably, there is little evidence to support any optimism regarding the scam. While some schools may fail-perhaps 2 or three at most- it appears that 2018 will conclude with over 200 ABA accredited law schools. And that's about 100+ too many. And while it appears that the Trump administration is thinking about doing something, it hasn't done so yet and with other political battles in the offing, it's unlikely to do much if anything this year.
    It's pretty simple: the scammers have money and power. They have fancy titles, and get paid a lot to do very little. And none of them want to actually find a real job and practice law. So they will fight, fight, fight to keep the scam alive. This will include unvarnished lying about job prospects, and will also include foisting upon the gullible the particularly despicable canard that somehow they are helping those saddled with true poverty. The scammers will never stop. And look at the results-law school applications are up after years of decline.
    How to end the scam? The answer is simple: stop the flow of the loan dollars. But it doesn't appear that is any closer in 2018 than it was in 2014. The scam will survive unless and until the loan gravy train stops.

  8. Mr Infinity has pretty much done his job at seeing the scamblog movement come to a standstill.

    Congrats Mr. Infinity.

    Third tier reality was trash, good riddance.