Monday, July 29, 2019

"America's $70,000/Year Liberal Arts Colleges Are Like Headless Zombies That Just Won't Die"

With a title like that, you have to have an image to go with the story.

Image result for zombies

Small liberal arts colleges in the U.S. simply refuse to die, despite a torrent of bad news about the U.S. higher education marketplace and the increasing uselessness of their degrees.

Bennington College in Vermont is one such example, according to Bloomberg. It sports famous alumni like Donna Tartt and Bret Easton Ellis and charges $73,000 per year for admission. Located at the foot of Vermont's green mountains, it nearly went out of business in the 1990's and was still under duress at the beginning of this decade.

But the school - and its 700 undergraduates - have hung on. It's a microcosm of how these types of schools continue to defy the odds nationwide.  Massachusetts’ Hampshire College was another institution known for its artisiness than has somehow still hung on.

So, what does that have to do with the law school scam?  Perhaps nothing directly - except it is pointing out the continued pressure on higher-education as the weather gauge continues to drift, along with answering "why do the scamblogs keep complaining about law school when so few in particular have closed?"  As indicated, many schools are fighting to survive, and are pulling out the stops to stay afloat.  Law Schools, in many respects, are no different on the whole.

Though, while I have enjoyed the skewering of "liberal artists," often by other liberal artists, concerning the utility of law school over the years (RIP, JDUnderground), I do have to say that I hate to see such degrees being described with "increasing uselessness."  Cynical as I am, and even as an ex-STEMer myself, I do believe a liberal arts education has value, assuming one is taught critical thinking, rhetoric, logic, and composition  skills (what law school got away with for so long lumping together as "analysis").   Plus, a strong alumni network never hurts.

These skills are increasingly critical in every field, even now in this "AI-does-scut-work" world, and have never really "gone away" - it does no good to be the smartest coder, engineer, historian, curator, business person (or even lawyer) in the world, but unable to communicate your findings effectively to others, argue for a position in a principled fashion, or be adaptable - y'know, the things that tend to be uniquely human.

Perhaps those sound like platitudes, and it is all too easy to pick on the stories where people spent $300k on the proverbial underwater basket-weaving degree.  But I think readers of this blog understand what I am talking about.  The issue is (1) so many institutions don't actually deliver on these ideals (hello, most law schools), and (2) they charge way too damn much money for something that shouldn't cost NEAR what is being charged.  I mean, come on, really.

I would be all for more liberal arts education (and, heck, other kinds, too) for a reasonable price. That would solve multiple problems simultaneously - having an "educated" populace (what people say they want until cost comes up), a not-buried-by-debt populace, and a leaner education system that "delivers" to its graduates.  There is more impetus for growth when people aren't crushed.

As it stands, all you have to do is look at Law School as an example for how it can go off the rails. The "problem" is other schools are following suit, perhaps to our greater detriment in the short-term. The only good news is that the market can't be ignored when it is allowed to operate properly in the long-term, and even higher-education may have to finally be competitive in ways it never had to be before.    

Anyway.  TL;DR is - 0Ls, think twice.


  1. there is no difference between what is going on with the higher education system versus everything else in the country. Everything is about money these days...if the "liberal arts colleges" can convince people to pay their tuitions, they will. If times get tough, they will simply use that as an excuse to pay school employees less money. Small liberal arts colleges can provide a very good education of course, it just depends on whether people think the cost is justified. If not, they go to the public universities. If the small colleges don't make it in the end, oh well....plenty more where they came from.

  2. Yes, all of this is connected, as part of the US College Meltdown.

  3. As your writeup so rightly says, liberal arts DOES have value. We all lose something if "learning how to think" is considered "useless." Undergrad was never really supposed to be "trade school" but more and more schools are bending to pressure from parents who expect it to be just that. And who can blame those families, given what they're being asked to invest?

    So I think the small lib arts colleges should still have a place, as the big universities are steering all the cash to STEM and competing for students with luxury dorms and gyms with lazy rivers, while the humanities are relegated to decrepit buildings where classes are primarily taught by starving adjuncts and TAs, often online-only so that class size isn't constrained by physical space.

    Schools that really focus on liberal arts instead of thinking of it as an afterthought ought to remain an option. But like everyone else, they simply charge too much, and they charge too much because they can. If a four-year degree is going to cost well into the six-figures, you can hardly blame students and parents for thinking in ROI terms.

    Liberal arts schools should use their endowments (or taxpayer funds, for public liberal arts colleges) to guarantee that admission is need-blind and that no one who is accepted is asked to pay more than their EFC (Expected Family Contribution) as calculated on the FAFSA. If they're going to reject the notion that the degree would prepare them for any particular job, this is all the more fair. (asking no more than EFC is known as "fully meeting need" in department of ed terms, so these are numbers and measures we already have).

    Those schools that can't accomplish this should either close or at least acknowledge that they are effectively operating for-profit because they are charging as much as the student-loan-distorted market will allow and awarding scholarships for tokenism diversity, or as bribes to get better students to enroll and thus game the USNews rankings.

    We should limit student loan eligibility for such institutions, or AT LEAST revise the internal revenue code so as to recognize that an institution that simply charges as much as it can get away with for a service is operating as a business, not a charitable organization.

    1. Whatever the merits of what you propose it is a recipe for vast amounts of litigation and lobbying as desperate hackademics desperately try save themselves.

      End all student loan programs funded or guaranteed by the government and all will soon be well. Tuition price wars will start and tuition will soon drop to levels consumers can afford, and it will be possible to fund scholarships for deserving but underprivileged candidates. This will work because the underlying effect will be to clear out most of the way-too-many people in college in this country who shouldn't be there i the first place.

    2. Third party payment can improve quality and access, but it also drives up price by creating a moral hazard.

      There are unaccredited CA law schools where tuition is 4k/yr. But almost no one passes the bar because of a mix (probably) of both poor instruction and low admission standards, which are why those schools are unaccredited which in turn is why the DOE won't approve them for students to take Stafford loans. There's no question the price is far lower, but so is the quality of both the school and its students.

      Similarly, quackery abounded in the days before health insurance, and structure fires claimed counteless lives before 30 year mortgages made it possible for regular people to buy homes that complied with modern building codes.

      I don't think you can make broad blanket statements like "end all gov't student loans." Eligibility for the loans CAN be a force for good in that it gives the DOE leverage to demand quality, just as the FHA won't guarantee a loan for you to buy a condemned building or Medicare won't contract with a hospital that doesn't meet quality-related "conditions of participation."

      But, the DOE isn't swinging that stick. They aren't doing anything to control cost nor are they demanding much in terms of quality from the accreditors on whose decision they rely. We've gotta find the right balance, and right now I agree with you that the student loans are creating a moral hazard.

  4. The problem is that the Feds cannot and will not end the government-funded student loan program. Doing so would put many people out of work quickly and create a lot of really big problems. What truly concerns me is this: If a college can charge 70K a year in tuition for a worthless degree, leaving someone with a C average in Philosophy with over 200K in debt that they will never repay, why not 80K a year? Or 100K a year? At what point do people realize that our government is systematically de-valuing the dollar, and if you start "loaning" people over 50,0000 per year when they turn 18, knowing full well that the "loan" will never be repaid, then is the dollar really worth anything at all? Or is it all just monopoly money? Why should some people work hard for their money when others are just handed it, why do some people struggle to pay for car repairs while others buy booze and suntan lotion on Spring Break with their "student loans"? The whole monetary system could come crashing down in a horrifying manner if the government keeps printing and "loaning" worthless dollars to anyone who wants them.

    1. These are the numbers for biglaw:

      190k salary. You are “rich.” In the cities that pay this, 50 percent is going to taxes.

      We are left with 95k.

      Assume no undergrad loans. Assume 200k for law school. You need about 3k a month to loans to make a dent on that.

      We are left with 59k.

      Now rent. If you want to live in any way shape or form as a human being working 100 hours a week, you are looking at around 3.5k a month minimum. But let’s say we are dealin with someone willing to have a room mate in a larger apartment. Let’s make it 2k a month. A generous assumption for biglaw locations.

      We are down to 35k.

      35k to work like a slave and live horrifically for a few years, if you are lucky.

      Let’s say your entertainment, food, transportation costs can be had for another 12k a year. An absurd assumption, but again, we are talking super outcomes.

      24k a year left for investment and paying down debt.

      No retirement. No job security. Nothing.

      Assume lock step raises. Your salary goes up 15k a year (after tax). By your fifth year you are almost certainly gone

      You are now 30 years old with maximum 50k in savings and no debt and no retirements

      Compare this outcome to public sector employment in the same locations where biglaw jobs are to be had.

      It’s an absurdly bad outcome for someone without real family assets to become a lawyer. It’s flat out for the children of the rich under any and all circumstances.

      Now, when we talk about the bad outcomes, these degrees become worse than prison sentences. And to dilbert’s point, this tax payer subsidized. This is insanity.

      Assume you just go work at Starbucks right after high school, live at home, and live as miserly an existence as you would have to under ultra stress in biglaw, but with a low stress job and weekends off. You stuff 12@ a year into a high yield vanguard account. You’d have well over 250k at thirty years old.

      Troll response: not everyone can live at home.

      Arguendo: join the military right out of high school. Do the same thing.

      Troll response: not everyone is cut out for the military.

      If you do not have the family resources to be able to live at home and and/or capable to join the military and disciplined to save and invest as outlined, how are you going to have the discipline to obtain biglaw, maintain biglaw, and invest and save as outlined (in order to have 25 percent what you would have had if you did as outlined).

      We have reached the point where, given the nature of the tax laws, you are literally better off working at Starbucks for fifteen dollars an hour or just have a 30 year career as an enlisted in the military.

      Forget about it if you can get a high paying public sector job. It’s not even a contest

      And when you start talking about the less off outcomes or the outright catastrophes as dilbert outlined, we are headed for a massive fiscal catastrophe.

      And this is so that some liberals assholes can work ten hours a week and lecture the rest of the population on morality as they skull fuck the tax payer and consign a generation of naive fools to permanent debt peonage. This is absolutely insane.

    2. Dilbert-you're exactly right; we've entered economic never-never land, where the feds keep spending, creating massive deficits, and acting like none of it makes any difference. We'll see about that; it doesn't seem that any of this is sustainable.
      And as pointed out above, it would all stop, immediately, if the feds stopped guaranteeing the loans.

    3. Since this disagrees with 4:43 in its entirely, this must be a "troll" response.
      First, this isn't an either or; as in big law or live in your parents' basement. There are plenty of options, with many jobs in CS or healthcare. But those jobs require actual planning at the college level, and require the student to take challenging courses-and who wants to do that? Law school has been, and still is, the last refuge of students who plan absolutely nothing, and who don't want to take tough courses in college. That's the reality.
      And more important-anybody who tells you to just go join the military is utterly clueless, and has clearly never spent 10 seconds in uniform. "Just go do 30 years" is the most inane advice given on this blog, and is utterly irresponsible. The reasons are endless, but let's keep it simple: when you join the military, they own you. You surrender basic civil rights, to the point if you don't show up for work, they can put you in jail. Sounds like fun, right? Incredibly stupid advice, clearly given by someone who has never served in the military.

    4. @8:50 AM,

      Your response isn’t a troll response, but it reveals the true underlying factor that’s contributing to the economic annihilation of a generation.

      You are correct that the problem is “failure to plan,” but not failure to plan on the right major or get into the right career. This line of thinking worked for a very small period of time in the history of mankind and for the most blessed and selfish generation in American history, ie it worked from 1945-1999 and it worked for the Boomers.

      You aren’t going to find any economic salvation by having I’m going to get a job or career mentality. It’s over. It’s done. It’s not coming back.

      If I inherit 500k of stock from my parents and I sell it sitting on my couch playing video games, I’m paying 15-20 percent in taxes on that money without having to forfeit my time. If I work 80 hours a week performing pediatric neurosurgery to make 500k, they are going to take 30-55 percent with the label of privileged and rich slapped on my back. That’s just the tax issue. Oh, you think that’s wrong? Communist leftist dirtbag.

      I am very well acquainted with the STEM field. You aren’t going to have a 30 year career in STEM. You are probably not going to have a 20 year career in STEM. You will most likely have a 10-15 year career in STEM if you are lucky. Corporations have unrestrained access to labor. Labor has no value. You want a PHD in machine learning? Don’t hire Mike or Jemal from MIT, hire Abdy from Mumbai at 50 percent of the cost. Oh, you don’t like that? Racist Trumptard.

      Pointing out aberrations to the contrary is like pointing out abberational outcomes in law. It’s scamster thinking.

      Is STEM better than law? Absolutely.

      Is healthcare an option? I believe so and I’ve conceded this. If you have the skills and patience to become a nurse or a doctor, do it. Most people do not have the combination of both skills, commitment and inclination to do that kind of work. That’s why most people that are good at STEM major in CS or EE and don’t pursue something in the medical field, which is the last form of stable employment in the United States.

    5. Continued:

      But the point is that (outside of healthcare and public sector employment) the only path to economic prosperity for people not born to money is to get the most accessible job based on their skill set that involves the least amount of training and the least amount of debt and to invest aggressively. Compound interest is the only avenue to freedom. It’s done.

      The political dialectic is captured. The middle is forced to choose between to political extremes: one advocating that the bum on the street is equal to a surgeon (the left) and one advocating that rent collectors owe absolutely no duty to this society of any kind and to impose any obligation on them is socialism and communist. The middle class has been the casualty in this battle as practical and corrupt politicians have taken advantage of this for the benefit of the super rich and to the extreme detriment of everyone else. That’s how you have federally guaranteed student loans, capital gains taxed at less than half the rate of income earned by blood and time, and screeching cries of racism at any attempt to reign in immigration to give some advantage to local workers. (Let’s not even get into automation which is going to steroid these problems).

      Another thing is that most high paying private sector jobs are on the coasts because the center of the country is gutted from outsourcing and immigration. So even if you win the Thunderome and Hunger Games competition of Silicon Valley in STEM or the Finance and Biglaw game in Boston or NYC, you have another problem, foreign capital is pouring into these areas increasing the price of real estate and the cost of living in these places far beyond what even a ridiculous salary can allow someone to do in other places. People in the Midwest and other parts of the country are not sympathetic to this point, but you aren’t getting rich because you make 300k-400k as an investment banker in New York. I know guys at that salary range and they have to rent. You will get rich as an investment banker if you live like a miser and stuff 50 percent of your pay into mutual funds and investments, so when you get laid off, at 45 because of an economic downturn and can’t get employed again because there’s 100s of other people looking for a job without a stain on their CV, you are ok. If you didn’t invest, you are fucked like everyone else.

      But the key isn’t the salary. The key is investing. The only people that are not going to be required to live like misers and invest are 1) people in healthcare (for now, I foresee changes though), 2) people in protected public sector positions, and 3) people in the military.

      Responding to my point that the military is an awful option or I don’t understand because I haven’t served etc is missing the point: there are no good options for the most part, even for people with discipline and skills. Working doesn’t work. It just doesn’t. Unless you are incredibly elite or come from wealth, you take the most stable, least stress (and that doesn’t mean low stress) job you can get that involves the least amount of training and the least amount of stress and invest as much as possible as early as possible. Anything else is guaranteed path to hell.

      And for people whose parents don’t have money so they can live at home and do this, and who can’t get into healthcare, that means the military.

      We are in decline and we are a society based on owning and investing, not hard work. If people don’t digest this, things are going to get worse.

    6. So many words...I'll let the readers of this blog decide if any of it makes any sense.
      But here's some solid advice-anytime anybody who has never been in the military tells you the military is your only option, beware. He's utterly and totally clueless at best about the realities of military service, but he just doesn't care. Always keep in mind: it's the only job in America you can't quit. In fact, if you do try to quit, they'll put you in jail. Advising people to join the military-when you have no understanding of the military-is a page out of the Boomer Playbook, which is full of sage advice such as "Go to law school; all lawyers are rich."

    7. People who paid full price for law school, and who paid all of it with loans in a high-COL area, plus possible undergrad loans, could easily find themselves 250-300k in the hole. Even on a first-year biglaw salary you'd probably qualify for IBR!

      Of course, the smart ones won't do that. For one thing, the salary does not stay at the first-year level, it goes up quite a bit each year, but you don't have long until you are either told you are partnership material or get "the talk." Most will get "the talk."

      So the smart ones will live like paupers and put every spare dime to the loans, paying off their debt in 3-5 years, because everyone knows most people won't make partner and those who don't have about that long.

      Leave too early or too late and the recruiters won't be interested, because if you're too young you still need to be trained and if you're too old you would be expected to have a book of business. But time it right and you jump ship to inhouse or fedgov right about at the point when your loans are paid off. Then you can focus on saving for retirement and such, and the hours will be reasonable enough for you to have a life.

      If you're lucky enough to get biglaw, then you have to be smart enough to understand that the salary does not mean you get to live like a baller. It just means you'll be able to pay off your debt; the rest is about the training and exit opportunities. From that perspective it's a good deal. Shackle yourself to the golden handcuffs, though, and you're hosed.

    8. @9:47,

      What do you recommend for people who don’t have the aptitude for STEM and who cannot live at home as they work and save? Any suggestions other than “you don’t know what it’s like” I also don’t know what it’s like to live in a stable economy, like the kind that existed thirty and forty years ago. I also don’t know see a prospect for things improving, we are at the point where Cravath associates complained they couldn’t afford their rent and pay back their loans (look it up, it’s a fact).

      What job can you get other than military if you don’t have a proclivity for STEM that doesn’t require you to go into debilitating debt? Again, I’m talking about people who can’t live at home and work and go get some technical training or something.

      Wages are stagnant, asset prices are increasing, taxes on income are going up, taxes on investments are going down, the amount of labor is increasing by immigration and outsourcing, and automation is about to kick into high gear. If you have any contrary suggestions, I’m open to hearing about them

    9. I am an Iraq Veteran. I enlisted after graduating law school unemployed in the mid 2000s despite law review and good grades. I spent 6 years in the Army (2 years beyond my initial obligation) and then went to med school and became a doctor. I just wanted to add to what 4:43 PM / 4:19 AM and 8:50 discussed above. I see where 4:43 PM is coming from. I just want to add some additional considerations.

      First, the military is not as secure as people think. If you go the officer route, you are certainly not guaranteed to make 30 years, let alone 20 years to retirement. The officer corps is an up or out system like Biglaw. I know of officers who were twice passed over for promotion and then shown the door. If you enlist, you generally are more secure and can stick around. However, there are times when the military has contracted. After I enlisted, I heard from civilians on post who talked about when Clinton shrunk the military in the 90s and people had to go (I’m not saying this was right or wrong, just pointing out a military career is not always secure). I saw the same thing happen before I finally left the Army under Obama. The military had to shrink. Some Soldiers were prevented from reenlisting because the Army was shrinking. A lot of Soldiers had minor infractions and other minor misconduct in their records. When the Army was desperate for people to go to Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army didn’t care. These people could continue to serve. But when the Army was shrinking under Obama, these people were separated from the Army. Sorry, no pension.

      Second, I can’t say for sure about other branches, but I know for sure that the Army takes a terrible toll on people. Making it to 20 to earn a retirement, or even 30 is extremely difficult emotionally and physically. When the wars were going badly and nobody wanted to enlist, Soldiers got stuck in a cycle of spending 1 year deployed and 1 year stateside. Then the Army got really desperate and extended deployments to 15 months. Multiple deployments took a tool on a lot of people. My 1SG, a mentor of mine with multiple deployments, eventually took his life. An enlisted friend of mine suffered a TBI and PTSD and had to leave the Army. He is disabled and receives money and healthcare from the VA. Another enlisted friend of mine made it to 20. He retired as soon as he could. He had multiple deployments too. I know he has PTSD. When he has a few drinks, he tears up thinking about the friends he lost. As a doctor, I have treated several OEF/OIF servicemembers with PTSD, depression, and other mental health issues. Many of the them self medicate with other substances like alcohol. There are ways to get out of the deployment cycles, but they are not easy either. For instance, an NCO can become a Drill Sergeant, a Black Hat (if Airborne), or other cadre at a TRADOC post. These jobs are extremely difficult and the days are long.

    10. Personally, when I came back from Iraq, I was on edge. I had some nightmares. But lucky for me, I left unscathed. I think about Iraq and the Army every day. I feel guilty that I didn’t do enough. I didn’t join the Army because I’m a neocon war monger. I didn’t join for the student loan repayment to erase my terrible mistake of going to law school. I joined because the war was going badly and somebody had to go. Now I live with regret everyday that others carried the burden of going on more deployments, others carry scars while I came away ok. Back then I was in tremendous physical fitness. Someone with my fitness and intelligence should have tried out for the Special Forces or Rangers. I didn’t, and for that I am sorry that I didn’t try to give even more.

      Lastly, the Army is a tremendously frustrating organization to work for. There is a reason the wars went badly. It was more than just terrible politicians. Nobody knew how to fight a counterinsurgency campaign. When H.R. McMaster showed how counterinsurgency could be successfully done while he was a Colonel, the military ignored him. The leaders wanted to continue rolling out in convoys, waiting to get blown up by IEDs, and rounding up military aged males to be radicalized in U.S. military prisons. They told lies that the insurgents were on the run. As someone who had an ounce of intelligence, it was frustrating to be in a rigid organization, in which people were promoted based on having a pulse and having served in the Army for a certain amount of time. I had a SFC who was truly one of the dumbest, and one of the most despicable people I have ever met in my life. This person was dumb and mean. He attained his rank by just staying in the Army. A high speed Soldier can make SFC in 7 years. It took this s—t bag 17 years to make SFC. He certainly was not qualified to work at Walmart. I also had a SGM with a serious personality disorder who was just a despicable person, but was also incredibly lazy. He achieved his rank by sticking around. After 26 years of worthlessness, the Army finally promoted him to SGM. I bring all of these people up because if you join the military, you are eventually going to go to war. You can’t count on some of these s—t bags to have your back. They can get you killed. The Army was very irresponsible promoting these terrible people. And the senior leaders do not care.

      So those are the hurdles you face pursing a military career. I reaped tremendous rewards from the Army. I received an enlistment bonus and student loan repayment. I overcame the mistake of going to law school. I received the 9/11 GI Bill which allowed me to go to med school and become a doctor. I didn’t go into the Army for the rewards. But I received those rewards in exchange for taking tremendous risks. And putting up with a lot of stupidity. At the end of the day, I live with regret that I did not do more. I volunteered for the Army knowing I would deploy, and I volunteered for Airborne. But I should have volunteered for more. Working as a doctor and providing the best care possible to patients has not relieved my regret.

    11. Anon,

      2:17 here. You are a great American and you shouldn’t ever beat yourself up for “not doing more.” You did enough. If more people had your mentality, the country would’nt be in the shitshow condition it is now.

      Your post was extremely informative and touched on subjects I didn’t know. But to your point, you mention that several people that had no shot in the private sector were able to survive economically in the military. That was my impression and that’s why I suggested as a path for poor people to advance. Based on your description, it doesn’t seem like this is a viable answer anymore.

      I don’t know what to tell people that can’t live with their parents at 18 then. I guess roll the dice on the student loan lottery.

      What I do know though is that employment as a means for social advancement is over. It doesn’t matter what you do. It’s arranged in such a way that unless you come from wealth you have serious problems no matter what you do. The tax system and employment distribution in terms of where the “high paying” jobs are (almost exclusively in high COLA areas with high taxes on income) make working and saving to prosperity an impossibility. You must invest. And when it comes to investment, having no debt and starting young is key. Compound interest overtakes the additive effect of the higher income of “high paying” careers later on in life once you factor in debt.

      I had lunch with an investment banker two weeks ago that came from one of the poorest jurisdictions in the country. The man is a math genius. He went for free to the most elite technical and MBA schools in the country. He’s 45 years old and has no debt. He makes 450k a year in NYC. He RENTS. I was shocked. He says he can’t buy because once he’s laid off (and it’s a certainty to happen in his industry), he won’t be employable at that level again. Now... He has several hundred k in a 401k and a several hundred k in cash savings. This is a .01 percent outcome for someone from the type of poverty that he comes from, and he can’t live what was a middle class existence in NYC 30 years ago. The jobs that pay that amount of money though are located in places like that though, and that’s the con.

      Contrast his outcome with a friend of mine who is a retired police officer. The guy lived at home with his parents until he retired at 45 and just stuffed money away (lived crazy cheaply). His last year salary with OT on the force was around 175k. Not even close to the IBankers, but the effects of compounding have him ahead. He’s got seven figures in an index fund and his pension of 8k a month after taxes make him far richer (and freeer) than the I banker, but that’s not reflected in how we measure financial well being in this country. Income is used as a proxy for wealth. Income isn’t wealth unless it’s income from an asset. Income is temporary and more unstable, and likely to be even more unstable as time progresses and this economy gets more FUBAR.

    12. Cont:

      That’s the thrust of my point. My point is the key to success is saving and investing. If you have to go into debt to get a temporarily high paying job and losing time in the process for the mere prospect (if you are lucky) to pay off the debt and start saving at a reduced pay in your 30s or 40s, you’ve lost the game hard.

      This is what people don’t understand about the modern economy. You cannot make it anymore with the mentality that you are going to get educated in [fill in the blank] and make it. It’s not set up that way. It just flat out isn’t. Whether it’s STEM or LAW or whatever, it doesn’t work. Spending your 20s and 30s getting degrees and going into debt to start investing in your 40s is a surefire way to get into serious trouble no matter what you do.

      Now I don’t know what to tell the truly poor based on your description. It doesn’t seem like even the military is a path forward for them, but for middle class kids I can definitely say get the job with the least amount of training and least stress possible, and live an absolute misers existence as you invest. If you don’t do this, you are going to have serious issues.

    13. 2:17; it's your MO to set up false comparisons, and the choice isn't between biglaw and the military. That's simply fatuous.
      And as pointed out above, the military-if you're in it only for the paycheck and retirement-isn't that stable. Both Bush I the so-called "Peace Dividend" and Obama-after the Iraqu War run-up cut way back on the military.
      And just like officers, enlisted have an up or out system, too; either get promoted or you're discharged. And sometimes when you hit 20 they want you out immediately, as in getting orders for a 3 year unaccompanied tour.
      And thousands were killed, tens of thousands injured, not counting Iraqi casualties.
      Your advice isn't just bad, it's potentially dangerous.
      DO NOT join the military unless and until you understand all the duties and obligations. This poster clearly does not.

    14. @10:49,

      I didn’t say the choice is between biglaw and the military, that’s a troll position. I said the situation is so bad now that biglaw people are struggling when you factor in COLA, taxes and loan payments.

      Nevertheless, what are your recommendations for people that don’t have a propensity for STEM and can’t live at home with their parents working a regular job?

      Do you have any suggestions for those people, especially if they are in the Midwest etc?

      Nope. And the scam rolls on...

      I don’t think people are appreciating the economic decline we are in, but that will become much more apparent as time goes on.

    15. You tell people, repeatedly, to join the military, and you know zero-as in nothing-about the realities of military service. As noted above, that's a page out of the Boomers' Book of Bad Advice. Before calling anyone a troll, take a good look in the mirror; the image you see is a genuine troll-many opinions supported by nothing but hot air.
      If you are going to recommend a course of conduct-as in go join the military-it would be a good idea to know what you are talking about. But you don't know anything, and that doesn't stop you.
      BigLaw...or your parents' basement...or the military. The false comparisons never stop.

    16. @ 6:30,

      “anon,” a former attorney and present doctor, with years of military service in war time indicated that two individuals he served under were able to survive in the military for 30 years, and said individuals would not have been able to cut it out at Walmart.

      The economy is only going to get worse. Taxes will be continuallly reduced for asset holders, labor will lose even more leverage as more people are let in the country and as automation intensifies, and asset prices in the areas with jobs are going to continue to rise as foreign capital pours into those areas.

      With that in mind, I’m going to ask again, what do you recommend for people who do not have family resources and do not have a propensity for STEM as the economy further declines?

      The military is not a good option, I understand. But there aren’t many good options. Moreover, even if you have talents in what’s in demand today, you likely will find yourself unemployed after a few years because labor has lost all leverage as a result of globalization, while asset prices in areas with jobs are increasing at a ridiculous rate because of the influx of foreign capital.

      I’m still waiting for some alternate suggestions.

    17. That's it-you're "weary attorney" from JDu, looking for a new home for our pointless screeds.
      "I'm still waiting for some alternative suggestions." Well, you're going to be waiting for a long time. This blog is about the law school scam; set up your own blog as you are constantly seeking "alternative suggestions". But it will be a lonely place, as you have given away your core beliefs: "even if you have talents in what's in demand today, you likely will find your self unemployed after a few years...b/c of...globalization." So not matter what is suggested, your response is consistent: "globalization." With you, the answer is always the same.
      So start your blog whining about globalization; see how far it gets. This blog is about avoiding the law school scam.

    18. @237,

      The law school scam exists because professors tell people they don’t have other options. Telling people law school is a scam isn’t enough if your objective is to convince people not to go. People need alternatives.

      Based on your responses, a rational person would conclude: I’m fucked. I majored in masturbationalogoy at shit U, so I don’t have any options, might as well roll the dice on law school and see where I land.

      I’ve personally seen two law school scamsters at TTTTs stare down lemmings like wolves about to eat sheep and straight up ask them “what else are you going to do?” Effectively, it didn’t matter that said lemmings knew the score, as they were convinced that after getting a toilet degree in undergrad, law was the only option. And even if a kid is in high school, if said kid doesn’t like STEM, he or she is probably susceptible to a similar error.

      The law school scam is the worst of all scams, but if you think people aren’t going to flush their lives down the toilet when they feel they don’t have alternatives (precisely because of the kind of rhetoric you espouse), you are sorely mistaken.

      And yes, globalization is the core of the problem with the woes of American labor. The limited options available to people is one of the reasons more people are going to college and thereafter law school.

      As to my personal situation, I’m not asking for sympathy. Not once have I complained or asked for help. I just know where the scamsters are making their stand now that the cat’s out the bag, and it isn’t advertising 99 percent employment with median salaries in the six figures. It’s flat out saying: yeah it’s “competitive,” but what are your options.

      And the military is a better option than law school, if you want proof, read “anons” story.

    19. The STEM focus is a red herring. So Boomers all majored in STEM? They have the best financial results, and I keep seeing it repeated that it's because they had a real education and worked harder than everyone.

      Yet the actual statistics obviously show Boomers didn't have STEM degrees. Most of them didn't even have college degrees. They just walked onto high paying jobs, without references, without experience, without licenses, as none were needed.

      STEM is useless, quite honestly. I have a STEM degree, I've never used it. I've made far more money out of law than STEM. I know countless STEM graduates that got stuck with nothing, needing to get more and more education with the hope of teaching. Seriously, how many Mathematicians do most of you know? How many Chemistry and Biology scientists? These are rare positions that have very high barriers to entry and generally require playing a lot of politics---and are predominantly academic positions (and most can't make professor track).

      I see the argument that you shouldn't join the military because you might not have the same job after 8 or 10 years. lol okay. How many lawyers have the same job after 4 years, let alone 8 or 10 years?

      If you are not connected, and even if you are, you can't count on 40 years, rolex and a pension. That time has passed. You're going to have to get what you can and always look for more. The less connected you are the worse it will be for you.

      And for the record, not only was I STEM, I actually also did military. I did my 2 years and got out. I have plenty of friends that did 1 or even less. You can negotiate a lot at the start. And this idea that you can't take a day off is absurd. Military gives more days off than most private sector jobs.

      Without the military I would have continued to be unemployed and in debt. I had to use the military to get any experience and connections. I came from a poor background with zero connections after all.

      I don't care what this other guy is saying. You're better off going the military route in most cases. Certainly better than just doing law (in retrospect I'd have skipped law and probably just done a 4 year stint in the military).

    20. So many straw man arguments in one post, 5:24-that's impressive. A partial list:
      1. The STEM focus is a red herring. Uh, there is no STEM focus; it's presented as one of several alternatives. You completely igonore healthcare or trades or anything else.
      2. Other than you, who sad the Boomers majored in STEM?
      3. STEM is worthless-you'e got a STEM degree...but wait-you've also got a law degree(and made a lot more money in that than STEM)...but wait-you were also in the military for 2 years. But forgot to mention the reserve commitment of 6 years. And had "plenty of friends" who served less than one year; how is this possible, short of court martial or medical discharge. Answer: it isn't.
      4. And you're right-it is "absurd" to suggest military don't get a day off-because you're the only one who says that. Nobody-but you-said they don't get a day off. What was said was it's the only job in America you can't quit.
      5. And since you've made money in law, why would staying in the military 4 years have been better?
      Here's the reality: if you want to quit the military, you get occur-martialed. And depending on where you are posted, combat can result in TBI and PTSD, but you don't address that.
      Since it's such a great life, why not re-enlist? All those days off, all those connections made, sounds like an idyllic life.

    21. Yes the stem focus is a red-herring. I have a friend from decades ago who got his phd in chemistry and rejected medical school when he had the chance to go. In the end, he ended up pretty much unemployed over the decades. Lots of people with Stem degrees such as marine science, biology, etc. find it difficult to find well paying jobs. What Stem degrees pay off? Best I can tell, engineering and the health care provider professions whether it be physicians assistant or physician or even dentist. But physician has an even higher suicide rate than lawyers so that is no panacea. And dentistry? I have had dentist friends tell me they hate their jobs. Mathematics? if you are a whiz you can get a job on wall street, if you are run of the mill, forget it. You all blame the boomers, when really you should be blaming the economies of the world. We are all victims of globalization. Our factories can simply not compete with the low cost providers in Vietnam. Law is no more of a scam than anything else. Even if you are right and 50% can not make a living at it, that means 50% are making a living at it. I have a Niece who went to a top five law school and works in Big Law. She tells me that everybody she knows is getting jobs out of big law, whether in government or in private industry, so I don't think it is as dire as some of you make it out to be. Maybe older people like Oldman have difficulty, but all older people have trouble getting jobs. If you are in the right age bracket, big law opens up lots of doors. And if not big law, there are still tens of thousands of lawyers who open their own businesses and seem to make a living at it throughout the country. With the various income based repayment plans afforded by the government, I don't see how this is not a possibility, even if you have racked up hundreds of thousands of debt. Pay 10% of your income to IBR. That is doable. Worried about the tax effect decades from now? There is far more to worry about, like climate change and nuclear proliferation. You'll be lucky the way things are going if you make it to retirement age. Perspective is important.

  5. I wish Nando had kept TTR up for posterity. He could have quit posting, but it was an important record of what happened. Before it disappeared, I went back and read it from the beginning. At first, he was making lawyer arguments- his posts read like indictments. Then, it got more and more outrageous, as he adopted the role of the Cynic in the old Greek sense of the word. Some may criticize his lack of decorum, but TTR was art.

    1. Agreed; it would be a valuable resource for 0Ls. Must have cost too much to keep it online.

    2. It was a Blogspot blog, it cost him nothing. My theory is that he was contacted by the administrations of Cooley, Drake (his alma mater), or some other fourth tier hole and they threatened him with a suit and he folded.

    3. It's not just $$$, it's the cost of time. In his last post, Nando said he'd profiled all 200+ ABA accredited law schools and was done. As highlighted by LSTC, even with all the evidence available, lemmings are still enrolling at TTTTs like USD. That's pretty discouraging.

    4. Strelnikov, really? You believe Nando folded based on threats? Are you a lawyer? Just what legitimate cause of action would a "fourth tier hole" have had against Nando? And you don't think he understood the issue of defamation before he started his site. If anybody would have had a potential claim against Nando, it would only have been that individual whom he mistakenly identified as responsible for a number of anti-scam posts.

  6. I don't get your point, Duped. Law school is a scam and fine example of regulatory capture. Private colleges are expensive because they're expensive. Sorry for the lack of profundity; in my day 100 years ago even mediocre ones cost a multiple of middling state schools.

    Bennington carries way more cachet than, say, SUNY Purchase, especially to people who value that type of thing. These people tend to be not price conscious. My employer's kid attends Skidmore and the tuition is scarcely a rounding error to him.

  7. I've been trying to leave comments here on this blog for quite a while now, but none are getting through; is there a reason for this?

  8. The only sympathy here is for those you have to suffer through reading your pointless ramblings.
    And it's clear that you have serious reading comprehension problems-did you actually read anon's posts? Where he describes how hard it is to make 20, let alone 30? Where he states how frustrating it is to be in the Army? And how fellow veterans he served with now have PTSD and TBI?
    You know nothing-as in zero-about military service; it just plugs into your world of false comparisons. But it's not the world of only two choices: the military v. law school. There are plenty of options-as in learn a trade-there are tons of jobs for plumbers and electricians and carpenters. Globalization! you shout. Or go to college and actually take tough course and major in STEM or CS or healthcare...again "Globalization" you shout.
    Nobody here says go to law school. And yes, there are options-if you decide to look.
    But since you're such a big fan of the military, why don't you join? I met several recruiters in my active duty days who would be happy for you to sign up. Send along your contact information, and we'll get you enlisted in no time.
    But you won't; that would give you an actual experience base for your opinions, and you couldn't handle that.

  9. If admin wants this blog to become an recruiting tool for the US military, that's their choice. But let's stick to the facts:
    If you join the Army or Marines, keep in mind that just about 100% of the force is considered combat-eligible-and yes, that means JAG, too. I work with several former JAGs, all of whom have their requisite Iraq/Afghanistan photo with the 9mm strapped to their leg. This also applies potentially to Navy and USAF JAG, too, as several were sent to the combat zones with the initial troops who did the fighting. One Navy JAG who is a friend told a (sorta) funny story about being sent to an office at the Baghdad airport to conduct regular legal assistance hours; when he got there control of the airport was still in flux and there was a raging firefight outside his window. From his position glued prostrate to the floor, he managed to contact his commander. He was told to "carry on as best possible, and complete your duties as assigned." At least it was a light day at the office, as the Marines were too busy fighting the Iraqis to seek legal assistance.
    And if you enlist instead of getting a commission, bless you. There are absolutely no guarantees as to what you'll be doing. As noted above, all Army/Marine "assets" are considered combat-eligible. In addition-for the USAF anyway-there are no guarantees as to training/job. Suppose you join wanting to be an aircraft mechanic(good civilian application, you think). You've got the test scores, and your recruiter tells you that yes, you are eligible for mechanic school so he signs you up, and after basic it's off to training.
    Well, maybe. If for any reason the needs of the USAF change, you may find yourself in cooks and bakers school. This happens routinely, as the fields with civilian applications(mechanic, air traffic control, etc) are hot with plenty of would-be students, and the others-Sky Cops, cooks, recreation specialists-not so much. So if you lose the arbitrary lottery and more Sky Cops are needed, that's where you end up, with no appeal and you can't just quit.
    And if you end up in combat and survive, keep in mind the many suffering from PTSD or hidden injuries like TBI. Per the VA, 15% of VN vets have PTSD; for Desert Storm veterans it's 12%; for the war on terror it's 11-20%. The number of veterans with TBI is stunning-almost 400,000:
    And as pointed out above, you can't quit. You stay until the military says you leave.
    So it's up to admin to see if this becomes a military recruiting blog. But if it does, let's keep it accurate.

  10. (Walter Cronkite voice):

    I think the law school scam blog movement has reached at best a stalemate - some people have been saved, but the scam just keeps on going, it is now clear. The scam blogs didn't work, but, they were honorable people, who did the best they could.

    I've read the blogs since about 2013. I like to think that if they'd existed when I was researching law school, I would have thought twice about going. Some people had to have seen the light because of them. But, sometime you just don't get what you want.

    You all did the best you could. Thank you.

    1. I've read them since 2009, that's really when they became prolific. But one by one they'd all closed down, usually taking down their blogs entirely. By 2011 virtually every one of those blogs was gone.

      JDU filled the hole for some time after that. But it was really more pro-law school. JDY popped up but disappeared even before.

      Nando's TTR was the longest running survivor. But of course that was removed too. JDU remained but of course is now gone too.

      OTLS is the last one I know of, but content updates have definitely slowed down, and this topic has appeared in the past a few times, I've commented about it too.

      The easiest place to post would obviously be on reddit, there's a subreddit r/lawschoolscam but it has very little activity. If that gained activity it would be a good central, enduring discussion of the scam that could last as long as the scammers didn't infiltrate moderation there.

      But there really is not interest in it. I'm not on r/lawyers but I'll occasionally look at r/lawschool and mostly you'll see success stories, including solo practices launched that become extremely lucrative. I don't know how accurate those stories are, but certainly they paint a different picture than the scam bloggers.

      Human beings are extremely resilient and resourceful creatures. What damage law schools have done is probably ultimately meaningless, as people recover one way or the other. I'm not at all sure the picture the scam blogs paint is particularly accurate for most. While I can agree it is a larger percentage with awful outcomes than is desirable, I do not believe it is the doomsday proclamation these blogs would make it out to be.

      Additionally, that also holds true for other fields. Really, you can do anything you want with any degree, just not what you went to school for in most cases. The debt and advancing age is what differentiates law from undergrad outcomes, albeit people on here commonly compare it to undergrad STEM degree. The better comparison is B-School, Dental or Medical school. Obviously medicine is better so law school proponents do not want that comparison in terms of results, but it's a high debt graduate degree so those (and other graduate programs) are the only like comparisons.

    2. The scamblogs got real traction immediately after the disaster of the Great Recession, when the media was looking for fraud everywhere, and many articles were written about the blogs and about the poor state of the legal industry itself. And the cartel helped, too, with actual fraud on the part of several law schools, lying about job and salary statistics. But the media has lost interest, and other than this blog, there's not much going on.
      And there's a good argument that the blogs are needed now more than ever. Even per the ABA's slanted in favor of the industry employment numbers, the unemployment rate for the class of 2018(most complete numbers available) was double the national unemployment rate. If the country is headed toward another recession(that inverted curve and all), it will be interesting to see what happens to the lawyer employment numbers.
      And yes, plenty of grad schools demand huge debt. But, for example, if you go to medical school, you're pretty much guaranteed a job-maybe not the job you want(all new docs can't be dermatologists), but a job as a physician, with an unemployment rate for new grads approaching zero.
      But it does seem as if no one is listening. Law school applications and enrollment are up, and outside the sphere of the few remaining blogs, nobody seems to be paying any attention.

  11. Nando is long gone, JDU has collapsed, and almost all of the blogs listed here haven't had a post in months, sometimes years. It may be time to declare the anti-scam movement dead. It's clear that the scamsters new tool-spam any existing blog-is now in full force. It's what caused, at least partially, JDU to collapse, and is being employed by the scamsters here.

    From the beginning, it was never a fair fight; the scam had Deans and Professors who had power, money, and the access that those two things can buy. The anti-scam movement had nothing but the truth and some lonely self-financed fraud-fighters.
    So the scamsters initially decided to hunker down and ride out the storm, then gradually become more active. Challenge the bar exam as unfair, etc. And after a flurry of bad press, the media lost interest, so the scamsters became more active. Have you noticed, almost like clockwork, every six months or so there's a new article about the "shortage" of lawyers in rural Nebraska or South Dakota or even upstate New York? Every wonder where the lazy journalists writing the articles get their "facts"? Every wonder why every article compares the established shortage of healthcare in rural areas to the fake shortage of lawyers? If you have to drive 45 minutes to get a trust written, that's not a genuine issue; having a heart attack and having to drive 45 minutes is literally life or death.

    So the spammers have been deployed, in force, to attack this blog. Among the nonsense:
    Constant whining about globalization, which has nothing to do with the law school scam;
    Constant demands for "alternatives", which again has nothing to do with the law school scam;
    Constant reference to the "red herring" that STEM is-and yes it is a red herring-it was created by the scammers, is constantly referred to by the spammers-and again, has nothing to do with the law school scam;
    Constant patently ridiculous posts-live in your parenets' basement or join the military because it's easy to make 20, etc etc etc-all irrelevant, but verbose spam attempting to destroy the message of this blog.
    And they trot out the oldies but goodies-50% unemployment isn't so bad, besides my niece went to law school and she's in biglaw making big money and all her friends have high-paying important jobs blah blah blah(sound like a law school dean circa 2007 declaring everybody got a 160k/yr job?).

    It's all spam, has nothing to do with the law school scam, and has effectively muted the message of this blog. Nando fought it constantly, it led to the demise of JDU, and may be the most effective tool of the scamsters and their minions. Whether OTLSS survives this onslaught of spam remains to be seen.

  12. @11:01 AM,

    Every single alternative suggested by people of this blog is shot down (probably by you). The only positive alternative I’ve heard on this blog is the medical field and STEM. The latter sucks, just not as bad as law. The former is a viable option (for now). Yet, most people do not have the aptitude or inclination for STEM or medicine.

    Other alternatives suggested here have been strong unionized trades in big blue cities, public employment in big blue cities, living at home and investing like a miser in a regular job. Invariably, some asshole pops up and gives the most extreme example on why those aren’t practical alternatives, eg people can’t move from where they are (usually the shitwest or equivalent), they don’t have familial resources to do so, etc.

    For people in that situation, the military is the only option, ie don’t want or can’t move to a blue city with unions, don’t have family resources that can let them live at home and save, and don’t have the skill and inclination for medicine or STEM (although STEM sucks bad too).

    As an aside, law school applications are up dramatically because of this type of rhetoric. The scamsters ply their trade well.

    And for the record, law school is worse than the military. Proof: see anon. Man’s life was almost destroyed because of law school but the benefits offered by the military allowed him to get back on his feet.

    When the Empire is in decline, the legions are the de-facto option for the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder.

    1. You're back, with more false equivalency and more false comparisons, and it's clear that you haven't read anon's posts, but this is a real whopper:
      "And for the record, law school is worse than the military. Proof: see anon. Man’s life was almost destroyed because of law school but the benefits offered by the military allowed him to get back on his feet."

      1. You have zero-as in no-experience with the military, so it is literally impossible for you to describe one experience over the other.
      The fact that you can't quit the military(you ignore that); the fact that you could actually be killed or grievously injured in the course of your assigned duties(you ignore that); the regular invasion of normal civil liberties, as evidenced by regular urine screens for drug use(and positive drug screens may lead to involuntary discharge or worse(you ignore that) and the fact that is is against the law in the military to criticize the president(you ignore that);
      2. Go back in read anon's post-he describes how difficult service in the military was and how many lives were destroyed by TBI/PTSD and alcohol.

      You spammers have very poor reading comprehsion skills. But just read 9:31, as that says it all. Your purpose here, clearly, is to spam the anti-scam movement out of existence. It's a brilliant new tactic, demanding "alternatives" decrying "globalization" complaining of "red herrings/STEM" when you created that red herring yourself; none of these have anything to do with the anti-scam movement.

      So spam away.

      But let's keep it simple so that maybe, just maybe, you'll understand: the anti-scam movement is about informing people about the dangers of attending law school. It's not about alternatives, globalization, or STEM being a red herring; if you want to share your pearls of wisdom on those topics, set up your own blog.
      But no, it's clear your plan is to spam this blog out of existence. It's a wonderfully invidious plan, and it's clear you'll never stop. Your goal is simple: destroy the anti scam movement. Your fatuous posts helped lead to the collapse of JDU, and it's clear that you're working tireless to have the same effect here.

    2. Ah, so now those who point out that alternatives and globalization and STEM/red herrings are spam and have nothing to do with the anti-scam movement are now "asshole(s)" and probably live in the "shitwest". Good to see your true, always spamming all the time colors.

    3. Another option could be dual citizenship. If you have an Irish born grandparent, the Republic of Ireland will recognize you as an Irish citizen so long you can provide documentation proving descent. From there you can either establish a life in Ireland, or move to another EU country.

      Something to consider.

  13. Admin needs to remove some of these abusive posts made by the scammers. Their MO is the same as the early parts of the scam blog. They come in, abuse and attack people, silence criticism of the scam, and kill off discussion. It is extremely clear to anyone that was around in the early days, these scumbags were on every blog spamming their nonsense.

    They had to briefly go into hiding, albeit I suspect it was more the bloggers got wise to it and would just delete/not show their posts, so they either gave up or just were not seen.

    Several of the posts above attack people and make up clearly facetious arguments. OldGuy, Duped, etc., I suspect it is one poster, I humbly request those posts be removed before people just stop commenting entirely.

  14. Going back to original post by duped-this article confirms your concerns

  15. I'm curious, does anybody expect the anti-scam movement to be taken credibly if it shuts down all of those with differing opinions? If you can not support your viewpoints in the face of dissent, maybe that is because your viewpoints are not supportable. The biggest problem in my opinion with going to law school is that you then will be associating with law students and lawyers as your primary source of contacts. And if there is one thing this blog establishes, is that so many lawyers are supreme aholes and completely full of themselves. That means that even if you are a successful lawyer, your life is still marred by having to deal with the so many wretched people who are attracted to the legal profession.

    1. That is the argument scum always make. That they are required to have a seat at the table and if you don't give it to them that means you are somehow afraid of them or incapable of proper discussion.

      That is a trap and it is incorrect.

      All real discussion is moderated. There are certain ground rules in place. If I go to court, I can not simply say what I want and the court has to put up with me to legitimize itself. Instead there is a judge, there are court officers, and there are both written and unwritten codes of conduct. When that is violated, I will be removed and no longer given a forum to act up in.

      This is true for any level of discussion. This is true also in our private lives.

      The scum are typically excluded from most environments precisely because they refuse to follow etiquette, and that is why that term even exists, and why there are barriers in place and why social circles/networks close off to people.

      Any forum that refuses such moderation and refuses to protect its intelligent and decent participants will eventually find the intelligent and well mannered leave, and the scum after destroying everything also will seek out new areas to invade and destroy if they are allowed to.

      There have been multiple studies on the internet and social media that have found the most dysfunctional people tend to congregate on the internet and are the most vocal. This is, the studies tend to add, because these same people are excluded from real life interactions. The image of the basement dwelling troll behind the keyboard is accurate. Many of these people do not have regular in person interactions, again, because people do not want to put up with that abuse in person (and in the less regulated areas, violence tends to happen, and these scum are typically physically weak so they dislike that as well).

      I predict that if this blog does not moderate now, it will have killed itself within 6 months, and perhaps the admins are okay with that or don't care. Perhaps one reason most of these blogs get taken down is that the bloggers don't want to deal with it going forward, albeit they probably could just close comments entirely and leave things up if they wanted.

    2. ^^^just gobbledygook. Your use of the word "scum" shows you are young and angry and most likely the ahole lawyer I was talking about above, and talk about dysfunctional. Wow. Do you all think that those choosing to go to Law School today do not know what they are doing, or what the risks are? Do you believe you are somehow y educating them? That is just really dumb thinking. And quashing speech from the "opposition" does nothing to get your message across. This is the thing, some people may want to be lawyers no matter what the risk. They may think it the best option for a meaningful life. Perhaps they will feel their life will have more value as a struggling lawyer as opposed to a financially secure plumber. Maybe they want to learn the law to do good, to be politicians, maybe they want their own business, maybe they just like the idea of having knowledge of the law. The whole point of the anti-scam movement is to point out the debt incurred and the difficulty in making a living, inother words it is all about money. But you completely ignore the intangibles of how people want to perceive themselves and what kind of careers they will enjoy. People don't go to college because they want to be rich. They go to college because they don't want to be plumbers or tradesmen. You all just don't get that. As for the cost, some law school tuition s are no more expensive or less expensive than many college tuitions. Ever check out the cost of going to NYU? Florida State Law School, which is decent, charges: The estimated 2019-20 tuition/fees per credit hour for entering law students is $688.11 (30 hours = $20,643.30) for Florida residents and $1,355.18** (30 hours = $40,655.40) for non-Florida residents. Not a small amount of money, but you know what, easily doable for many who get decent jobs in the law, especially if paid back over time. And you talk about three years out of your life when you could be making money. Really? Personally speaking I enjoyed law school. I enjoyed the give and take of the intellectual arguments with law school students. I enjoyed the camaraderie one only gets when studying in a University Setting. I enjoyed meeting and dating single coeds from the school. If I had gone right into work, great, I would have been working for say thirty three years instead of just thirty years. And in the long run, that three years would have made zero difference in my life at the cost of three very enjoyable years spent in law school. People are still going to law school because they want to be lawyers. They are knowingly taking on the debt. Are you really surprised that so many of them ignore your advice. They are striving for their American Dream, not yours. In many cases they see you all for the malcontents you are.

    3. "just gobbledgook" would be a very good title for your entry. If you are such a Master of the Universe, why are you here? To persuade other? Well, no, because for you law is a religious calling. Well, here's some basic math, which you ignore: first, law school is in addition to undergrad, not in place of it, so you've got debt from both. And every bit of your argument is predicated upon suppositions..."easily doable for many who get decent jobs..." What about those who don't get jobs, decent or otherwise? What about the fact that the unemployment rate of new JDs is DOUBLE the national unemployment rate? What about the fact that law school grads-especially those from TTTs, carry massive debt?
      Average debt at TJ-almost 200K; employment for 2018 grads, per the ABA:144 graduates, 33 had jd required jobs.

      It's the internet, and any doofus with a keyboard can offer pearls of wisdom such as yours, especially when they are completely fact-free.

    4. The American Dream is money, security and leisure, it isn’t being some “prestigious” wage slave, working 100 hours a week to make people who do no work richer, and never getting to enjoy your life by having money, leisure and health.

      In other words, the retired port authority cop making 15k a month pension at 45 with healthcare for life is living the American Dream, and he’s living it hard. The big law associate, Ada, document reviewer, solo practitioner, etc who doesn’t have a trust fund is living the American nightmare, he or she just can’t vocalize it because the only thing left is the thin veneer of narcissism preserved in a false self-image of what a lawyer actually is, where said veneer stems from a time in history that is long, long, long past.

    5. Lots of hyperbole here. 100 hour work weeks? Wage slave? If a person can walk away anytime they want, how are they a "slave"? Its not like they are working against their will or will be imprisoned if they do not pay back their outstanding debt. And on what basis do you believe these people do not "enjoy" their lives. I worked for a medium sized firm out of law school. I worked many hours, sure, but did so willingly, and I remember those days as being very happy ones. I felt like I was on top of the world. And how many cops get 15K a month in pension benefits at 45? Do they even get that in NYC? The only thing left is a "thin veneer of narcissism preserved in a false self-image"? Wow, those sure are some descriptive words you are using there, but I call gobbledygook for what it is. There is zero difference between what lawyers do now vs. what they did years ago. There may be differences in loyalty between partner and associate of course, but highly doubtful there is much difference in the work itself. Maybe much easier now. When I started out, we had to use actual law libraries because West Law was considered too expensive except for the most important of jobs. Now I have the national database available to me for dollars per month. Computers and the internet have made things far easier. Heck, no reason most lawyers cannot work from home if they want to. If you youngsters quit whining so much about the Boomers, quit whining about what you volunteered for, quit whining about how difficult you had it, maybe you would actually enjoy life some. Its not like you had to serve in World War 2 or the Vietnam war. Everything was handed to you on a silver platter since you were young, and the problem as I see it now is your never ending entitlement. As Trump would say, bigly sad.

    6. @2:04,

      Boomers could pay for college by working part time in the summer because the Greatest Generation did not enact predator practices against them. Boomers experienced the greatest economic growth in the history of clothe country. Boomers voted to increase benefits and decreasing taxes for 40 years. They destroyed the labor movement, they drained the public coffers with absurd pensions, they endorsed policies that destroyed the value of American labor by globalization, they enacted policies that made housing unaffordable for the next generation.

      Everything is more expensive by legion (healthcare, housing and education). The millennial generation is in big trouble because of these policies.

      A member of the greatest generation analyzed the filth that is your generation pretty nicely (he saw what your guys were going to do before millennials were old enough to even vote):

      As to law, it’s a function of supply and demand. Too many lawyers. There are double the amount required produced every year (because the boomers enacted the policy of federally guaranteeing the loans and making the loans non-dischargeable, which ensures a permanent over supply and at insane cost because there is no price control).

      Let’s look at some data and facts. This is the bls projections for nurse practitioners:

      “Overall, job opportunities for advanced practice registered nurses are likely to be excellent. APRNs will be in high demand, particularly in medically underserved areas such as inner cities and rural areas.”

      Let’s look at lawyers:

      “Despite the projected growth in new jobs for lawyers, competition for jobs should continue to be strong because more students are graduating from law school each year than there are jobs available. According to the American Bar Association’s National Lawyer Population Survey, a compilation of data collected by state bar associations or licensing agencies, there were over 1.3 million resident and active attorneys as of December 2016. Some law school graduates who have been unable to find permanent positions turn to temporary staffing firms that place attorneys in short-term jobs. These firms allow companies to hire lawyers as needed and permit beginning lawyers to develop practical experience. Many other law school graduates and licensed lawyers end up finding work in other occupations or industries due to the difficulty in finding jobs with traditional legal employers.”

      I know you are old man and I know because you are old things can’t possibly be different than when you were young because that means your time passed. The facts are the facts though: too many lawyers, so life is bad for most of them.

      As to the port authority cop, no most Cops don’t make that kind of pension. But most lawyers don’t become successful partners at major firms either. Yet, the port authority cop lives better than not just the lawyers who failed but also the ones who “made it.” He has more time, security and in most instances money.

    7. This is masterful satire. It's all there; we lawyers have always done the same thing, it's easier now with those new-fangled computers, "you youngsters (need to) quit whining", it's not like you had to serve in WW2 or VN(ok, never mind the writer never served anywhere,ever, and let's ignore the 400K veterans from the "War on Terror" who have TBI), "everything was handed to you on a silver platter"...really, this is priceless truly great satire.
      The only thing the writer missed was the claim that he walked uphill in waist high snow both ways to school. Is it possible to edit a post?

  16. Then why are you here? You detest law students and lawyers, and think this blog "establishes...that so many lawyers are supreme ahols(sic)..." Don't you have something better to do with your time? You show up regularly-it's clear you aren't a lawyer or law student and have zero insights; why bother?
    And the entire world of the scam has been premised on deception and misinformation; allowing those who support the scam to post here defeats the purpose of getting the truth out.
    And yes, those poor scammers, with their money and their power and their access; it's a real shame if they are shut out of the few internet forums that attempt to shed light on their chicanery.

  17. I suppose this blog makes for some interesting reading and I guess it should continue indefinitely because whatever changes there are to come regarding the "scam" issues we are all well familiar with will have eager and energetic commenters. But as for the old bloggers from the time period referenced above boy someone, have they found success in or out of law? Have their situations changed for the better or for the worse? Is anyone really interested? But five years is not a long time and goes quickly by. So does ten years. I think older people realize that more than the youngish seeming posters within the strings. I ended up with a six figure debt and that is never going to go away so why complain about it anymore? I'm not alone in thinking about retirement and the debt though. I ended up finding a job outside of the field of law and I just pay a percentage of my income to the debt forever I guess. The problem has no solution. Not yet anyway. Maybe one day things will change but does anyone think this blog will bring about that change? I refer to the main issues but everyone has different life experiences as do I and it took quite a number of years to get my life out of the employment disaster after law school and I left law school off my resume after a while and that worked for me where before having the 4th tier JD only confused employers. So what did I gain from a lower tier law school that is struggling rather badly with it's bar passage rates to this day? Awareness I suppose. I mean, awareness or a general overview of theoretical law but not much more as I hardly worked in the field and after finally finding a decent job I can take into retirement-not all that far off-I've moved on. So why blog about it? It is a very unhappy and rather stress inducing thing. Reading this blog that is, but it is nice to check on it from time-to-time. Besides, I have to look out for my health, having heart issues now and one would think it is in the interest of Navient that I stay healthy so I can pay them every month. But yeah, a massive debt have I and these are the days of our lives. Also yeah, if tuition lending were cut off it is not hard to imagine that whole towns would feel the impact all across the USA. So as I say, change will come and we will live to see it and it would be fitting that this blog will still be around for the old time followers and the newer, to comment, grumble and grouch, vent know.....that sort of thing.