I'm going to yield the floor to Mr. Jeff Matthews, who posted over at The Faculty Lounge concerning the ongoing debate over the Legal Job Market:
I am not a big fan of personal attack, but there are indeed some issues which bear introspection among academians.
I don't begrudge law profs maximizing their salaries. I don't mind their reluctance to give up pay, nor would I ever expect them to. I don't mind them questioning whether the problem is as bad as some say. I don't mind that they continue the casebook method despite complaints by students that, given how hard it is to land a job, maybe a more hands-on approach is in order. These things are open for debate.
But, in all honesty (and no profs need respond), for years we have all known that the law schools have been posting misleading employment statistics. While the language they employed was technically true, they have been selective in their data gathering and categorizing, without full disclosure as to the means used to skew the results. This has been common knowledge for at least 20 years. My graduating class from UT Law in 1993 can attest to it. Ask just about any of the 500+ attorneys we graduated that year. This has been the case for EVERY lawyer in any graduating class after mine in any school that I have ever known. I have never seen ONE lawyer, when the topic came up, who didn't agree the stats were bogus.
Though it has become common knowledge among lawyers after the fact (of attending law school for a while to figure out the bunk by watching all the hopeless-sounding 3rd-years ahead of us), it most certainly was not widespread knowledge among many of the members of the entering classes who really did not know many lawyers to begin with. I do think the advent of scamblogging has made the scam more transparent the more popular scamblogging has become. (Gotta love the internet for those who would have more trouble finding answers by walking pavement.)
So, in the sense that law school systematically published misleading figures, knowing they were misleading, in order to get kids with stars in their eyes to pony up $100k+, I call BS on that. Every law professor should have rebuked this practice until it was stopped. But you all (or dang near everyone of you) sat there quietly. You knew it, too. We know you did. Heck, Professor Powers even gave us 3rd years a speech about how not to worry that we didn't have jobs line-up like we expected we ought to have. It was apologetic with a dose of encouragement thrown in.
That practice was shameful. I hope you guys are more vocal about truth-in-education in the future. You don't have to be all negative on law school, but at least stand up and call for the truth when you see your compadres and employers teaming up to pull stunts like these. Don't just sit quietly and watch all those kids have their hopes dashed so that you feel obliged to give moral encouragement to "Hang in there. It's not so bad. Give it time. You'll be fine." This is little consolation, even if the damage is repaired over time by the efforts of the kids whose hopes were dashed.
Straight up, Jeff, 'nuff said. By my view of the comments, no LawProf responded directly to Jeff.
When it comes to the self-interested ScamDeans and LawProfs, caveat emptor, everybody. Those hefty, tenured ("non-profit") salaries don't just drop out of the sky, you know. Some would say that Our Promethian Betters deserve no less.