A new article discusses the many graduates who do not pass the bar even after years of attempts. One of these, a Mr. Sam Goldstein, has failed eight times but plans to try again, despite coming all of 13 points from passing on his most recent attempt. Mr. Goldstein racked up $285k in debt to attend profit-seeking über-toilet Arizona Summit, which has cancelled all classes in preparation for shutting up shop.
The ABA, as the article points out, has done nothing to stop the many scam-schools that produce Goldstein after Goldstein. In evident response to criticism, the ABA now proposes a condition of maintaining accreditation: 75% of the school's graduates must pass the bar exams within two years. The same proposal was made three years ago and was predictably defeated by the scamsters and scamster-lackeys who effectively control the ABA's so-called oversight of law schools. Once again the proposal faces strident opposition at this year's ABA scam-junket in Las Vegas.
COOLEY: The poster child for the law-school scam, according to interim president Jeffrey Martlew, plans to impose "in short order" a minimum LSAT score of 145 for "students who enroll through the standard admission process". (The article incorrectly reports that "[i]n its most recently admitted class, the bottom 25% of students had an average LSAT score of 139". Actually, 139 was the score at the 25th percentile, not the average score of the bottom 25%—which cannot be higher than 139 but presumably is lower, as some of those in the bottom 25% probably have scores even lower than 139.) At least Martlew admits "that a score of 139 is too low for admission", though he doesn't justify the still reprehensibly low score of 145, nor does he explain what is meant by "the standard admission process" or whether a non-standard back door will let people in with lower scores.
Martlew opposes the proposed standard for accreditation on the grounds that it "would force law schools to turn away lower-profile students, among them many minority students, a move that would probably make the nation's law schools less diverse". He continues: "We don’t want to slam the door on our access mission,… which is really what makes us different than [sic] any other law school." Kyle McEntee of the anti-scam organization Law School Transparency correctly rejects that ridiculous argument: "People who don’t get through school and don't pass the bar exam are not diversifying our profession." McEntee might also have asked "Cui bono?" and noticed that "minority students" (apparently referring only to racial minorities) make up 56.5% of the JD students currently enrolled at Cooley. Consequently, a policy that kept Cooley from exploiting "lower-profile students" would hit Cooley's balance sheet hard. Note that Cooley charges $53k per year for tuition and that most students have to pay full price.
THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH DAKOTA: With its LSAT profile of 147/150/153, this Cooleyite public institution is the worst law school of a flagship state university after that of its neighbor to the north. It managed to push more graduates through the bar exam only after the state legislature put up funds for bar review. Rather than saddling the public with this expense, why not simply admit that the U of South Dakota is admitting large numbers of students who have no business in law school or the legal profession?
PONTIFICAL CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY: I have avoided discussing the Puerto Rican law schools, in part because most of their students faced a big linguistic disadvantage on the LSAT. (An experimental Spanish version of the LSAT was introduced a few years ago for use in Puerto Rico only, but it is not scored on the same scale as the English version.) But after reading the argument of scam-dean Fernando Moreno-Orama against the ABA's proposed standard, I really do have to speak up. Moreno-Orama objects "because law schools don’t control the content of the bar exam or set the passing score". So what? How can that possibly excuse his law school's poor performance? Whatever the standard be, and however it be established, law schools should meet it—or stop pretending to teach law. And just imagine how bad things would be if the schools did control the content of the exam and set the passing score.
FLORIDA COASTAL: Scam-dean Jennifer Reiber objects because people who give up after a single attempt at the bar exam would bring the school's numbers down. According to her, some students "plan to use a law degree to further their careers in journalism or public policy" and take the bar exam only once, more or less for the hell of it. I'd love to see evidence of significant numbers of people with the objective that Reiber claims—people who pour three years and a big six-figure sum into an über-toilet's law degree to gain an advantage in an existing career in journalism or public policy but don't seriously attempt to be called to the bar. That doesn't even make sense, and no one with a brain will believe it. Florida Coastal is no longer accepting students, and presumably it is on the verge of closing for good, but Reiber could have spared us her bullshit excuse for piss-poor performance.
Scamsters find any number of self-serving reasons to oppose the proposed standard. I say that the proposal is altogether too weak. Two years to pass the bar exam? Anyone who has not passed it within two attempts should forget about finding decent employment as a lawyer. And 75% is too low: it would allow schools to maintain accreditation even though as many as a quarter of graduates became stuck with six-figure debt and a useless degree. In addition, the law schools are known for manipulative antics such as paying students not to take the bar exam so that they won't drag the old alma mater's numbers down (only students who take the exam count for this purpose). The standard should be higher, not lower. But the scamsters seem to reject any standard at all.
UPDATE: The proposal was indeed defeated handily, by a vote of 88 in favor to 334 against. Two reasons in particular were cited.
First, because California's bar exam is more difficult than those of many other jurisdictions, the standard would allegedly have been unfair to California's law schools. That's a stupid argument. Nothing stops graduates of California's appallingly many law schools (more than 60, including the unaccredited ones) from taking the bar exam in another jurisdiction, or the graduates of schools outside California from taking the exam in California. In addition, the law schools have been aware of California's standards for decades. It is their responsibility to ensure that their students meet the standard—and if they can't or won't do it, they shouldn't be allowed to operate. Besides, amidst the concern for "California's law schools", where is the concern for the people rooked in their thousands by these toilets?
Second, DIVERSITY! Loss of accreditation for the many underperforming toilets with large proportions of minority students "would have considerably harmed efforts to diversify the legal profession". Once again, diversifying the legal profession requires admission to the legal profession. Saddling people, racialized or not, with six figures of non-dischargeable debt at high interest for a degree that they cannot use is no way to diversify anything but the population of people bilked by the law-school scam. Furthermore, this recent interest in "diversity" is little more than a cynical ploy to exploit, under "progressive" cover, the last large population that can be lured in by scamsters bearing gifts.
When you set foxes to guard the henhouse, don't be surprised at the result. Yet again, the ABA demonstrates that it cannot be entrusted with the responsibility for accrediting and regulating law schools.