Monday, July 8, 2013

New News & Old News


Conditional Scholarship Scam

"The Law Schools Where You're Most Likely to Kiss Your Merit-Based Scholarship Good-Bye," by Staci Zaretsky (Above the Law)

"Conditional Scholarships and Scholarship Retention for 2011 - 2012," by Prof. Jerry Organ (Legal Whiteboard Blog)

"Which law schools were most likely to yank merit-based scholarships?" by Debra Cassens Weiss (ABA Journal)

Money Quote from Staci Zaretsky: "Now that information like this is readily available online, perhaps fewer people will be able to claim that they were lured to attend law school with false promises of scholarship money. Sure, you may be a special little snowflake who thinks you'll be able to overcome the odds and beat the curve, but with hard data staring you in the face, it'll be just a little bit harder to keep going with such faulty logic. But then again, if you do, it may be the reason why you lost your scholarship in the first place."

Ouch. Hard way to learn what a "bait & switch" is.


False Deadline Scam

Speaking of merit-based scholarships, here's a deal you should probably still refuse...

"Act Now," by Laura Ingeno (Inside Higher Ed)

Money Quote: "We are in the wild, wild West."

Washington University School of Law sends emails to applicants who had previously turned them down offering a full three-year ride if they accepted within 24 hours. 

Note to prospective law students: Artificial deadlines are typically imposed by the other side in a negotiation to instill a sense of urgency and force a bad decision.


Great overview of how Sallie Mae became privatized while at the same time student loans become non-dischargeable in bankruptcy for those of you asking yourself, "well, how did we get here?"


Money Quote: "Butzel Long PC has received federal relief for its pension plan that's underfunded by more than $9 million. The Detroit-based law firm announced Wednesday that the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) will assume assets and management, including the payment of benefits, for the Butzel Long Employees' Pension Plan. The grant will allow for 'competitive compensation necessary to maintain its business' according to a news release from Butzel Long.'"

Butzel Long, of course, represents clients in front of the PBGC. Well played, Butzel. Lemmings, take note: The legal market even for Big Law is collapsing.


Money Quote: "[T]he job of legal secretary is simply less necessary than it once was....These days a computer and a template can do most of the tedious formatting work, and spellcheck and a good proofread will catch the typos....the associates type their own damn briefs and massive document management systems keep the paper flowing."



Richmond Law's Brilliant/Lame Lemming Recruitment Ad:

Money Quote: "The lamest law school ad of 2013."

Money Quote: "At a moment when law schools are suffering from a crisis of confidence and a lot of applicants are wondering if law school is a bad deal, the boasting resonates."


And McGeorge Law's "Downsizing." Isn't the proper PR spin "Rightsizing"?

"McGeorge Law School downsizes student body and staff," by Mark Glover (The Sacramento Bee)

Money Quote: "[T]he school's dean, Francis J. Mootz III, issued a statement, through McGeorge spokeswoman Bethany Daniels, about the reductions. That statement read: 'In response to the unprecedented drop in applications to law schools across the country, McGeorge School of Law is reducing the size of its student body.'"

Isn't the correct spin term "right sizing"?

"McGeorge law schools says it will shrink by more than 40 percent," by Mark Glover (The Sacramento Bee)

The school is right sizing from 1,036 students in fall 2010 to about 600 in the next three years. Bravo.


  1. From Law School Transparency:
    "For years, schools have been moving away from need-based aid towards merit-based tuition discounts. These tuition discounts are usually financed through tuition payments by lesser-credentialed students, which means that those least likely to succeed in law school subsidize those who are most likely to succeed. As schools struggle to enroll students into their J.D. programs, many schools are increasing their tuition discounts even more to pursuade students to attend."

  2. Once again Hofstra makes a scam list. They lured in students with merit scholarships without telling them they would probably lose them after the first year. How can Nora Demleitner sleep at night?

  3. Oh, oh...

    "McGeorge law school says it will shrink by more than 40 percent"

  4. Enrollment needs to dive FAR lower in order for the profession to stand any (now slim) chance of surviving. Right now, the schools are saying in a responsible-sounding voice: "Look! I've dropped 15 pounds!"

    Yeah. From your belly to your ass.

    If the patient's gonna survive, there must be stomach stapling, liposuction, and plain old-fashioned starvation. Bottom-level schools must shrivel and close. Mid-level schools must half their weight, and only about half of the halved portion should survive ... then placed on a strict diet.

    Sadly, the market has shown itself unable to timely regulate the matter. Civic responsibility has failed, too. A school that's loyal to the administration of justice and the rule of law would voluntarily undertake a self-imposed 5-year moratorium on graduating students. But this ain't happening, even in the face of this meltdown.

    That's why we have government.

    The individual State governments must now get serious about the administration of justice --which is a branch of government and part of the state's constitutional compact with citizens-- and radically limit entrance to the state bar to make the numbers have some correlation to the state's need for practitioners. This would make the truth far clearer. Yes, everyone’s free to study law and get a law degree. But it doesn’t mean you’ll be a lawyer.

    Now, we let everyone get the title ‘lawyer’ and then let the law of the jungle work. The law student doesn't snap till she's well into the tube. Yeah, that’s capitalism and people should suck it up. I agree. But the harshness on people isn’t the vice. It’s that the desperate measures that must be taken by the vast oversupply of lawyers struggling to make a living perverts the administration of justice. The state must impose the diet through bar control.


    1. Well, I guess there's at least one in every crowd. No matter how many trillions of dollars of public funds are shovelled at education, the ensuing disaster will be described as a failure of the free market, for which the remedy is more government.

    2. The free market hasn't been allowed to function properly because of government (i.e., student loans).

      The remedy ain't more government ... it's less lawyers. The government's gotta get a bit involved only because lawyers are a creation of government (i.e., it says when you're a lawyer). The government could also reduce the amount of loans it makes available. If those things are government intervention then so be it.

  5. The ABA Journal article about disappearing scholarships has attracted numerous comments by "Pushkin", which is a pseudonym used by the appalling shit Brian Leiter.

    1. LOL. For those of us who follow "Pushkin's" postings on the ABA Journal, it's amazing how often "Pushkin" has the first comment on an article, as he does in this case.

      It's a real testament on how much free time tenured law school faculty have.

    2. If you are right, ABA readers really ought to know that Pushkin is Pablo Neruda, err. .. Brian Leiter's sock puppet.

    3. On September 11, 2014, Brian Leitner (who threatened to have me investigated by "the campus police") emailed me stating:

      "I do not post under the pseudonym “Pushkin” at the ABA Journal blog; I actually do not post under any pseudonyms."

      Anyone with evidence to the contrary is kindly requested to contact me at the email address listed on my profile page:

      In my humble opinion, Herr Professor has really become unwound.