Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Charleston School of Law: Failures at the bar exam exceed successes

Back in 2015, when Old Guy was more inclined to indulge his muse here, he wrote the following song to the Charleston School of Law:
♪ Charleston, Charleston,
Made in Carolina.
Some sham, some scam,
You'll take it up the vagina
Down in Charleston, Charleston,
Lord, how they can swindle!
Ev'ry time they pull
O'er your eyes the wool,
Don't believe their bull:
They've made pocketsful.
Damn sham, flim-flam,
Will be a back number;
But at Charleston, yes, at Charleston,
That scam school's surely a comer!
Some time they'll bilk you one time,
The scam school called Charleston,
Made in South Carolin'. ♪

Law School Truth Center posted this little twelve-year history of Charlatan Charleston. Largely accurate, it did go astray with the prediction that Charleston would be the second law school to shut up shop. Since LSTC's article came out, fourteen law schools have gone tits up, but unfortunately Charleston isn't among them.

Recently Charleston gloated about a proposal to charge no tuition. While its scamsters dream on, its graduates keep failing the bar exam: this year only 46% of those taking South Carolina's exam in July received a passing score. That's the lowest rate achieved by the graduates of Charleston since 2008, when Law School Transparency started to keep records.

Scamsters will trump up excuses galore, but the fact remains that a class drawn from the 140s on the LSAT can be expected to fare poorly on a bar exam. And when the law school is a bullshit unneeded upstart from the present century, it doesn't compete with Harvard for students. 

Will the ABA do anything about this shit pit by the sea? Let's just say that Old Guy isn't waiting with bated breath. Earlier this year, just months after Charleston missed a new nominal standard for maintaining accreditation, the ABA cheerfully conferred its rubber stamp of approval on the über-toilet. Expect the scam-fostering ABA to exercise its "discretion" in the direction of covering up for this would-be InfiLaw scam-school and all of its peers in über-toilet territory. 

In the meantime, O aspiring toileteers, if you are ass enough even to consider applying to this stinky dump, tell us one thing: what exactly do you plan to do if you get your Mickey Mouse degree only to find, like so many of your fellow Charlatans, that you can't pass any bar exam?


Saturday, September 18, 2021

Law in the time of COVID-19: surviving schools increase enrollment

With law schools closing left and right over the past five years and others headed for the grave, a rational person might expect a decline in enrollment. But this is the law-school scam, after all, where pennies are not left on the table and lives are not spared.

Although the figures will not be in until the filing of the ABA's required reports in December, most law schools have already announced the size of their first-year classes in 2021–22. Collectively, those schools have increased enrollment by more than 9% since last year. The bulk of the increase, of course, lies in the vast realm of toiletry and über-toiletry, but even those schools in the so-called top 13 have not been shy about leading fresh lambs to the slaughter: Cornell, Duke, and Penn have all increased enrollment by more than 10%. As for über-toilets, notorious Vermont Law School has seen fit to tack on 72%, proving once again that it is not in the Green Mountains for nothing.

While scam-schools' coffers spill over with ducats, sane heads—there are still two or three, despite appearances—have asked where the hell the new graduates of 2024 are going to find jobs that will support the monstrous cost, mostly financed with expensive, non-dischargeable student loans. Kyle McEntee of Law School Transparency offers a polite understatement: "It does not seem to me that the entry level labor market can handle this many 1Ls… Schools should have continued to decrease enrollment, at least a little bit."

McEntee also correctly lamented the rise in cost to people stupid enough to sign up for law school. Flush with so many applicants, law schools could afford to charge more. Expect them to have done so. Allegedly pious Notre Dame even pitted its new lemmings against one another by having them scramble to reserve their spaces in the class by paying their deposits early, lest they lose out. 

If you like the prospect of paying an even more obscene price for an even less useful degree, then law school is just the thing for you. Old Guy urges to you pledge your next of kin right away to the über-toilet of your choice.


Saturday, August 7, 2021

Law today: unmanageable debt, low to zero income

A recent article in The Wall Street Journal reveals (surprise!) that a legal career ain't what it used to be. Many graduates leave with a mountain of debt overtowering a paltry or non-existent income.

Data from the Department of Education show that "[o]nly a dozen of the nation’s law schools leave students earning annual salaries two years after graduation that exceed their debts". Indeed, "the value of a law degree from nonelite schools has diminished. Salaries haven’t kept pace with inflation over the past 20 years. Meanwhile, tuitions have soared. A three-year juris doctor program, including living expenses, now can cost more than $250,000 at private law schools." The median salary has been stagnant over the past decade, while debt has continued to rise from an already obscene level.

The article focuses on the law school at the University of Miami, which, among the so-called top 100 law schools on the bogus "ranking" published by You Ass News, has the greatest gap between median debt at graduation and median salary two years later. Here is a sample of typical lemming-like foolishness inspired by delusions of prestige:

Laura Cordell, a 2019 graduate, said she chose Miami for the prestige, particularly within Florida. “You go to any courthouse in Miami and the judge went to UM, the judge is a teacher at UM, there’s some sort of connection to UM,” she said.

“When I was looking for law schools, I wasn’t looking at price as much as what would be good for my career,” said Ms. Cordell, 30 years old, who said she turned down another school that offered her a large scholarship. “I didn’t have an understanding of the gravity of the amount I was borrowing.”

Ms. Cordell owes $334,000 in federal loans for her time at Miami. She now makes an $80,000 base salary, with a bonus of about $12,000, working at a firm that specializes in insurance. Because her debt load is so high, she said, she can’t afford more than the minimum payment on an income-driven plan, which sets her monthly payments according to her income.

Now, let's get one thing straight, Ms Cordell: the U of Miami is in no way prestigious. Maybe the local bench features lots of graduates of your humdrum toilet school, but that doesn't mean that going there "would be good for [your] career". Those judges graduated long before you did, many of them at a time when the law-school scam hadn't fully bloomed into the monstrosity of today. You also wrongly attribute their apparent success to the law school that they attended. More likely, they succeeded despite going to a no-name law school, not because of it.

And anyone who admits "I wasn't looking at price" is not, in Old Guy's book, cut out to be a lawyer. Certainly she shouldn't have been allowed to contract a third of a million dollars in student loans underwritten by the federal government. Sorry to be frank, but failure to look at a price tag of that size manifests a shameful lack of intelligence, prudence, or both.

Dylan Boigris is similarly delusional:

“I had no work experience, life experience, anything like that before I signed on to this quarter-million-dollar loan,” said Dylan Boigris, a 2016 Miami Law graduate, who began his career making about $45,000 as a public defender. “I thought I would come out making much more than I did.”

………

Mr. Boigris, the 2016 Miami graduate, said he didn’t receive counseling about what borrowing roughly $240,000 would mean for his financial future. He now owes nearly $300,000, including interest and undergraduate debt.

“You tell them, ‘I need assistance,’ and they’re like, ‘OK, here’s a loan,’ ” said Mr. Boigris, who is 30. “It was just an endless supply of money.”

In February, he was surprised to learn that he and his fiancée couldn’t get approved to borrow as much as they wanted to buy a home. Though Mr. Boigris was making $120,000 after moving to the private sector, the lender told him his debt load was too high.

Yes, believe it or not, the borrowed funds were not Monopoly money: they do have to be paid back when the law-school game is over, and you can't buy a house on the same state-guaranteed never-never. But another graduate of toilet Miami has a different plan: stick the public with the cost of her folly:

Before Maria Rodriguez started at Miami in 2016, she and her mother visited the law school to discuss their concerns about affordability. The student had immigrated from Colombia as a child and grew up in a low-income family. She needed to buy books totaling about $1,000, she said, but her student loan money wasn’t yet available.

A school official told her there were no need-based scholarships available for her, and suggested she consider getting a credit card to buy the books, recalled Ms. Rodriguez, now 27.

Ms. Rodriguez said she didn’t blame the school for the timing of when loans were processed. She ultimately found a bookstore that gave her the books up front after she promised to make good when her loans came through.

She had a great educational experience at Miami, she said, though she now owes $300,000 in loans for her law and bachelor’s degrees. She works as a public defender, is enrolled in an income-based repayment plan, and expects to have her loans wiped away through a federal public-service loan-forgiveness program after paying for a decade.

Her "great educational experience" didn't teach her such frivolous lessons as responsibility for her personal finances or discretion when borrowing a third of a million. Mommy apparently dragged her to the campus "to discuss their concerns about affordability", yet those concerns weren't significant enough to keep her from taking an on assload of debt for her "great" overpriced toilet school.

Zigan Danklou, a Togolese immigrant who apparently graduated at age 35, went to the dean with a couple of dozen classmates "during his final year to voice financial concerns. The students hadn’t gotten their loan money as soon as they expected and were struggling, he said." They didn't voice concerns about the amount that they were bothering (just funny money to them, bien sûr); they only complained about the delay in getting borrowed dollars into their hot little hands. The dean served them pizza and a line about the bright future that allegedly lay ahead. What happened?

Even with a partial scholarship, Mr. Danklou borrowed $138,000. He struggled to find a permanent job after graduating.

After a brief stint working for the federal government, he has begun working as a solo practitioner in Jacksonville. He currently has zero income but hopes to make money from cases taken on a contingency basis. His student-loan balance, with interest, has risen to $155,000.

I don't feel so sanguine about Mr Danklou's prospects of making money on a contingency basis. Leaving aside the important issue of his competence as a lawyer, I wonder who would take a lucrative case on contingency to a nobody who can't make a penny "as a solo practitioner". Unfortunately for him, he—like Old Guy—was too old to find work in the legal "profession", a veritable warren of age-based discrimination.

Scam-professor Anthony Alfieri of the U of Miami states, correctly, that "[l]aw schools encourage a kind of magical thinking in order to keep the lights on" and a "kind of cruel optimism"—Old Guy would say delusion—about the prospects of six-figure salaries. But while the high debts are a certainty, the six-figure salaries are a will-o'-the-wisp. Consequently, only 15% of recent graduates of his toilet school had begun to repay their loans within two years of graduation. Although that figure is "the lowest rate among law schools at elite private research universities" (pardon Old Guy while he barfs over the "elite" bit), most other law schools differ only in degree. There are only fourteen law schools where most graduates repay any principal within two years of graduation.

None of this is news; we at Outside the Law School Scam have been reporting it for more than eight years, and many noble anti-scam activists were doing so before us. Though we be the voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, we insist:

1. You should not go to law school unless you can pay in cash and do not need income.

2. The government should greatly restrict, or even abolish, federally guaranteed student loans.


Thursday, July 22, 2021

San Francisco DA's office embraces brave new grammar

 Press release: June 30, 2021: “Today, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced a bold new policy to promote respect for the gender identity of all people encountering the criminal legal system. . . . The policy directs all San Francisco District Attorney’s Office staff to both inquire and then use correct pronouns, names, and titles for crime victims, witnesses, and the accused in a criminal case. . . . The policy also requires prosecutors to ask the defense which pronouns should be used for anyone accused of a crime, and to document and use those pronouns throughout the pendency of the case.”

  PETITION TO BE ADDRESSED AND REFERRED TO BY ROYAL PRONOUNS

1 Now comes gender-enlightened Petitioner and, consistent with the Hon. Chesa Boudin’s bold and inclusive pronoun edict, earnestly asks to be addressed as “Your Highness” and referred to as “His Highness” in all courtroom proceedings and court filings.

2. From earliest childhood, Petitioner has been identified as royalty. Petitioner’s birthing person (“mom” in pre-gender liberation parlance) was known to refer to the Infant Petitioner as “His Majesty.” Similarly, Petitioner’s birthing person’s inseminator (“dad” in pre-gender liberation parlance) was known to refer to Petitioner as “a Jewish prince”).  Similarly as well, Petitioner’s identified-as-female-at-birth-and-identified-as-chronologically-subsequent-at-birth sibling (“little sister” in pre-gender liberation parlance) was known to refer to Petitioner as “King Doofus.” 

3. Though wry or even disrespectful, such descriptions reflect a due acknowledgment of Petitioner’s long-standing transroyal status. Petitioner declares and embraces this princely or kingly identity, consistent with an obnoxious desire to regard others as commoners or peasants. Petitioner also wonders whether he* [to use oppressive oldspeak, pending recognition of preferred pronoun*] can cancel people at whim by making vexatious official complaints about instances of misroyalizing and royalphobia, which are sadly rampant in our society. 

4. It is pure discrimination and egregious noninclusivity to deny Petitioner’s royal gender identity because, by pure accident of birth, his lineage traces to Brooklyn shopkeepers and then to Chicago schoolteachers and accountants and not to Windsor Castle.  

5. Petitioner recognizes that the Hon. Chesa Boudin’s policy does not specifically mention lawyers, but only “victims, witnesses, and the accused.” But surely this is a mere oversight, and inconsistent with the policy’s bold and inclusive intent. It makes little sense to allow a criminal complainant, defendant, or witness to choose zitz or zatz own precious pronouns, but to not accord attorneys the same protection from the grievous psychic harms of grammatical clarity.  

6. Indeed, Petitioner knows, or imagines he knows, that many a grizzled criminal defense lawyer and prosecutor has been reduced to brokenhearted tears because judges persist in imposing the cruel and outmoded binary formulation of “his” and “her” rather than adopt such valid, inclusive, and beautiful preferred pronouns as “ishkabibble,” “zipadeedoodah,” Pi to the 131st digit, or the complete lyrics to “Over the Rainbow,” whether recited forward or backwards or translated into Albanian. 

7. Petitioner’s request is certainly no less reasonable than other hypothetical gendering requests that would seemingly be granted under the express terms of the Hon. Chesa Boudin’s bold and inclusive edict. For instance, it would appear that a rape complainant in a criminal case can be compelled  to refer to her alleged rapist as “she” and “her,” even if the defendant identified as male when the incident took place and even if the defendant looks, sounds, and behaves, at least to the gender unenlightened, like a football linebacker with unconventional fashion and grooming preferences. 

8. Petitioner acknowledges that gender liberation ideology and parlance largely arose from the theorizing of hyper-privileged and avowedly progressive academics. Nonetheless, he dismisses as conspiratorial or phobic any suspicion that these high-status individuals were motivated to promote their careers on the backs of their marginalized group identities or to pad their CVs by producing gibberish in the guise of scholarship or to indulge in the narcissism of identity politics in lieu of discussing and acting upon such substantive and urgent progressive concerns as climate change, income inequality, and mass incarceration.

9. In considering his modest request, Petitioner asks that notice be taken of the wise precept articulated by noted legal philosopher Humpty Dumpty, who declared, “When I use a word. . . it means just what I choose it to mean– neither more nor less.”

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Über-toilet coming to Shreveport, Louisiana

Two years ago, when fools in the Pelican State were talking about opening a so-called law school in Shreveport, Law School Truth Center wrote a feasibility study showing what a goddamn stupid idea that was. Now, however, the project is proceeding: über-toilet Southern University Law Center is opening a branch in Shreveport.

Southern University is one of the rare law schools that make Cooley look good. Its LSAT scores of 143/144/146 place it dead last among ABA-accredited law schools outside Puerto Rico. It is now the only non–Puerto Rican law school (there were many just a couple of years ago) whose LSAT score at the 75th percentile is below 150. In short, it is a fucking dump. Yet somehow it drew in 336 first-year students last year.

Opening this über-toilet-to-be will allegedly cost between $8 million and $10 million, but Old Guy expects the real figure to be much higher. Already the state government has pledged to flush $500k down this toilet. The building that houses a public library in downtown Shreveport has been earmarked as its new home.

And this branch of the nascent Southern University chain of über-toilets is being planned around a four-year curriculum. Why four years, rather than the usual three? On the reasonable assumption that the students will be too damn stupid to finish on schedule? Will there be an entire year of bar review? Who will sign up for this trash heap when its program is a third longer than that of any other law school?

A local politician justifies the foundation of a new über-toilet on such ridiculous grounds as these: “Corporations and companies looking to move their headquarters and things like that, they want to know if their senior staff would have access to professional degree programs.” First of all, just exactly which corporations are eager to move their headquarters to Shreveport? Be serious. Second, no corporation is going to want to send its “senior staff” for a “professional” JD at the local four-year über-toilet. But of course the local boosters have to tout their shabby-ass little city and its shabby-ass little state however they can.

Public money thrown down this rathole will simply fund a monstrous embarrassment. Louisiana, like most of the other states in the region, doesn't have a single decent law school. With four mediocre to utterly contemptible law schools already, it certainly doesn't need another. This ill-considered venture will be Indiana Tech redux, with the notable difference of state funding to perpetuate über-toiletry in northern Louisiana. Even Cooley has been closing campuses one by one; but Southern University, the new Cooley, is expanding into nondescript pseudo-urban sites. Expect this to end badly. In the meantime, you can bet your ass that many a recently cashiered hackademic scamster from Florida Coastal will be applying for a cushy job at La Toilette Shreveport.


Thursday, June 10, 2021

Toilets Я Us, Part VIII: Florida Coastal, the last InfiLaw über-toilet, is closing down

Break out the Champagne, everyone, for today marks the end of the InfiLaw era of scam-schools: Florida Coastal, InfiLaw's last über-toilet, is closing down.

After losing its access to the federal student-loan gravy train, Florida Coastal (Horrida Coastal) had to submit to the scam-enabling ABA a "teach-out" plan for winding itself up without just dumping the students on the ground (as former InfiLaw scam-school Charlotte did). Finally the ABA has accepted a teach-out plan whereby Florida Coastal will stop teaching courses at the end of the summer. Currently enrolled students will either transfer to other law schools or enroll elsewhere as "transient" students (that makes them sound like vagrants) while still receiving a degree from Florida Coastal, which will provisionally remain accredited until 1 July 2023 just so that it can issue those degrees.

I don't know why anyone would want a degree from an über-toilet that had just been flushed. Transferring would make more sense than enrolling as a "transient" student, but the best choice of all—if available—is to use the closure of the school as an excuse for backing out of one's student loans. 

Which law schools are going to scoop up the jetsam of Florida Coastal? The U of North Dakota welcomed the detritus of InfiLaw franchise Arizona Summit with open arms. Other failing law schools may be eager to snap up a few dozen toileteers. 

The number of law schools closed in the past five years now stands at fourteen:

Cooley (one campus)

Hamline or Mitchell (the two merged)

Indiana Tech

Whittier

Charlotte

Savannah

Valpo

Arizona Summit

Cooley (a second campus)

Thomas Jefferson (relinquished ABA accreditation in favor of state accreditation)

La Verne (relinquished ABA accreditation in favor of state accreditation)

Concordia

Cooley (a third campus)

Florida Coastal

Which scam-school will be the fifteenth to close? Appalachian, Ohio Northern, Faulkner, Western State, Mississippi College, Golden Gate, District of Columbia, Vermont, Western New England, Charleston, the rump of Cooley, and a number of others seem like prime candidates. Nominate your (least) favorite below.


Thursday, May 13, 2021

Strike three, InfiLaw's out? Florida Coastal uncoupled from the student-loan gravy train

Private scam-chain InfiLaw ran three outsized über-toilets for years. Two of them—the Charlotte School of Law and Arizona Summit Law School—are defunct. Florida Coastal is the sole surviving InfiLaw scam-school. And now it, too, is headed for collapse.

Today the US Department of Education announced that Florida Coastal is ineligible for student loans. Specifically, Florida Coastal had failed to meet the standards of financial responsibility, fiduciary conduct, and sound administration. It earned "the lowest possible score", namely –1.0, for financial responsibility. InfiLaw recently dumped its 98.6% stake (InfiLaw no longer even operates a Web site), thereby leaving big concerns about solvency. Insufficient "competency and integrity" also contributed to the decision.

Florida Coastal is looking into the option of appealing against the decision within the next ten days. Already, however, the Department of Education is planning actions to take "if Florida Coastal School of Law closes precipitously"—a likely eventuality indeed. With no significant source of money for operations, the worst possible financial rating, a reported lack of integrity, and an evident propensity for "profiteering off students", Florida Coastal may well go tits up any minute now. Charlotte notoriously locked its doors without a word, and Arizona Summit canceled classes and shut up shop about two weeks before the start of the academic year, so I shouldn't put it past an über-toilet of InfiLawvian heritage to leave its toileteers high and dry.

Florida Coastal seems ready to become the fourteenth law school to close its doors within the past five years. Which will be #15? Nominate your (least) favorite below.