Monday, September 29, 2014

A Lesson in Moral Hazard from New America

Hello everyone.  Between bar prep over the summer, taking the bar, and hustling trying to get a full-time, long-term, bar passage required job, I haven't had much time or motivation to post.  However, with bar results from my state coming in soon, and a probable full time legal job awaiting me if I pass, posting on OTLSS can help calm my nerves.

Back in April of this year, I highlighted a report from the New America nonprofit policy institute on cumulative student loan debt for those who completed graduate programs.  New America found that debt among law school graduates increased by $50,000 between 2008 and 2012, a shocking amount.

New America (NA) is back with a report focusing on income based repayment programs, posted earlier in September.  The full report is here.  The summary is here. In the report, they focus on what they call "New" IBR, which is the more generous version that the Obama Administration recently implemented.

NA isn't the first to criticize the government loan forgiveness programs as an experiment in moral hazard, but should be credited with this in-depth study which focuses on what NA calls the "zero marginal cost threshold."  What is the "zero marginal cost threshold" (ZMCT)?  NA defines it here:

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Illinois Appellate Court affirms dismissal of class action fraud and misrepresentation lawsuits against DePaul, IIT-Kent, and John Marshall Schools of Law.

On September 26, 2014, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, issued a published decision and two unpublished orders affirming the dismissal of the class action fraud and misrepresentation lawsuits against DePaul, Kent, and John Marshall Schools of Law (links to decisions below). Not exactly unexpected, or even particularly disappointing at this stage of the game. We will win in the court of public opinion, and our award will be the much-belated collapse of the scam.

In Phillips v. DePaul, 2014 IL App (1st) 122817, the Court found that "Plaintiffs' interpretation of this generalized employment statistic as including only full-time legal positions has been found to be unreasonable as a matter of law by courts in other jurisdictions which have considered the same issue. . . " Phillips, 2014 IL App (1st) 122817, ¶39 (emphasis added) (citations omitted). 

We at OTLSS defer to the Court's judgment, of course, but it is fair to note that year after year many thousands of comparatively bright and sophisticated kids, some of us among them, acted in lockstep unreasonable reliance. Each of us spent many tens of thousands of dollars in pursuit of a JD, having unreasonably failed to realize that the impressive employment stats that reputable old law schools displayed so proudly in their promotional literature included part-time jobs at Burger King and such.

And that was very unreasonable of us, so unreasonable as to be deemed unreasonable as a matter of law, which is a rare category of unreasonableness. See e.g. Blankenheim v. E. F. Hutton & Co., 217 Cal. App. 3d 1463, 1475 (1990) ("Except in the rare case where the undisputed facts leave no room for a reasonable difference of opinion, the question of whether a plaintiff's reliance is reasonable is a question of fact.")

And, of course, we were unreasonable in other ways, such as thinking that law school would train us to practice law rather than stretching a few months worth of doctrine to fill three long years in order to enrich dilettantish academics whose connections to the legal profession are often astonishingly tenuous.

It is unreasonable to trust a law school. If you can't take a scamblogger's word for it, then take the word of many state appellate courts-- including, most recently, Illinois.


Chicago Daily Law Bulletin story (quoting plaintiff’s counsel as follows: "That means we’ve wiped out the omission side of the Consumer Fraud Act. . . You can get sued for leaving things out, and that's confused in these opinions.")

Phillips v. DePaul, 2014 IL App (1st) 122817:

Johnson v. John Marshall, 2014 IL App (1st) 123610-U:

Evans v. Illinois Institute of Technology, 2014 IL App (1st) 123611-U

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Grand Scam for Legal Education!: The annual National Baseball Arbitration Competition at Tulane Law School.

Many little girls like to pretend to be princesses, causing some to wonder whether the culture is encouraging a harmful fantasy. But at least those children are not duped into the belief that their dress-up games constitute professional skills training for future careers as sceptered royalty.

By contrast, Tulane, Marquette, Florida Coastal, and Thomas Jefferson law schools [1] nurture a smaller scam within the larger scam of law school by indulging a fantasy held by some of their young students, a male fantasy, of launching careers as hot-shot lawyer/agents on behalf of their favorite sports stars. (By law school, these kids have at least figured out that they won’t be actual professional athletes).

Case in point: The National Baseball Arbitration Competition, held annually at Tulane Law School [2], and open to two-member teams from ABA approved law schools that pay an entrance fee of $530, and to three-member teams that pay $570. According to the official rules, "The Committee will create three different salary arbitration cases. Each case will include the player’s final offer and the club’s final offer. The Committee will then assign teams to a side - player or club - in each case. Teams will be required to prepare oral presentations, exhibits, and briefs for their assignments."

The rules restrict participants' briefs to a maximum of 10 pages, double-spaced and inclusive of charts, tables, lists, and other appendices. Because, after all, the celebrity judges and speakers do not want to waste any more time on the students’ nonsense than they must. One typical competitor’s brief from the 2012 competition asserts that "Cruz’s higher base salary, power numbers, and playoff heroics comfortably place his value higher than Francoeur’s $5 million contract. . . . For these reasons we ask the arbitration panel to find for Nelson Cruz and award him $5.3 million."

You can be sure that recent law school grads from lower-tier schools will never ever be writing things like that in non-moot settings. [3] What they will be writing instead is cover letters to temp agencies and checks to Sallie Mae.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Strict Scrutiny: Olympia Duhart Says Making Money Has No Place In Law School

The ABA's prohibition on law students working only 20 hours during law school is an antiquated relic. It is a codification of the notion that law school is an intellectual salon where the cutting edge ideas of the day are analyzed by the best and brightest. To sully the focus of law students is a societal catastrophe that must be stopped at all costs. Law school is in fact the closest thing we have to the Kingdom of Laputa from Gulliver's Travels. But, there are certain law professors who cling on to this concept to extend the "good old days" as long as possible.

From time to time, I read something that proves without a doubt that law professors have little to no touch with the current state of the profession. Olympia Duhart has produced such a piece. I could not allow this piece to pass by without comment. As always, her words are in italics, mine are in normal text.

As the American Bar Association considers lifting the ban on paid externships, a simple truth bears repeating: Money changes everything. Under the current standards, law students cannot be compensated for work they do for school credit. This policy should remain in place because separating compensation and “study outside the classroom” is a crucial step toward safeguarding the academic integrity of the externship.

Guarding the "academic integrity" of the externship should be our main focus. Not helping law students defray the ruinous cost of tuition. Ms. Duhart doesn't seem to have an issue with being paid for the work she does. Why doesn't that sully the "academic integrity" of her experience as a law professor?

First, it will limit the ability of government and nonprofit institutions to attract students. Next, it will tempt employers to exploit the students under their supervision. Further, it will impair the educational objectives of the externship. It shifts the externship focus from things that are in the best interest of the students to tasks that are in the best interest of the employer. Driven by a need to maximize profits, some of the employers will engage inexperienced student workers in tasks that have little educational value. For example, inviting a student to reflect on a courtroom observation has an incredibly high instructive value; however, that same experience is not likely to be billable to a client. Profit and pedagogy do not always align.Yes, law students need money. They also need experience. Rolling back the prohibition on allowing students to receive pay and credit for the same work is an “easy fix” that ignores some key realities.

I'm sure that the employer is most concerned with teaching their legal interns about how to file a petition, draft an answer, etc. Employers would never use students in a way that might not be to the maximum benefit to the student, right? Ms. Duhart shows how little experience she has in the actual practice of law. Students don't get into externships to observe things. They are trying to get experience that they can use to succeed in a job. Not everyone can be a law professor and sit around thinking about hip hop's place in the law like andre pond cummings. As I've said before, law professor is the highest paid part time job in America; most of us have to work 40-60 hour weeks dealing with mundane stuff. Duhart wants every aspect of law school to become useless pedagogy.

What's more, revoking the standard also collides with other important objectives for legal education. The A.B.A. has promoted legal education that encourages self-reflection, outcome measures and ethical participation in the practice of law. Even the most conscientious employer – pulled in different directions by clients and practice demands – may not be able to effectively pursue these goals. As they gain new experience, law students need mentors and educators. At the very least, the current standard incentivizes education, not making money.

But the truth is that something has to be done.

I'm sure that the lawyers cranking out hundreds of boilerplate collections petitions a week take a lot of time for self reflection, outcome measures and ethical participation. This type of thinking is why the professoriate and the ABA are entirely out of step with the realities of today's legal profession. The ABA is basically the academic version of the NCAA: an organization with no actual authority that maintains its control because it advances the goals of its most powerful members. 

Given the alarming rate of tuition increases, law schools must finally take responsibility for the rising cost of legal education. A small paycheck will not do much to defray the high debt load most students must absorb to become lawyers. Instead, we need to dig deeper to make law school more affordable for students, especially those students interested in public interest work.

This paragraph might as well be drafted as a model paragraph to be inserted into ludicrous pieces like this one. It allows the author to say, "Look, I know we have a problem." What Ms. Duhart and the majority of the legal academy don't seem to grasp is that change does not happen by holding on even tighter to the status quo. This paragraph just gives us vague generalities about the need to make law school more affordable. Maybe Ms. Duhart and her ilk need to stop focusing on how law students need to think about pie in the sky issues, and actually study how to make law school more affordable. This would eventually lead to people like Ms. Duhart having to make actual sacrifices to their lifestyles. Professors, like everyone else, are looking out for number one. This means they need to continue the cycle of debt slavery so that they can continue living charmed lives.

Allowing students to earn nominal pay from an externship simply is not the answer. They won't earn much money, and they may not gain the type of experience that meaningfully contributes to their legal careers. Shifting the focus from academic study to earning pay will significantly transform the externship experience — and not for the better.

Ms. Duhart, I hope for your sake that you never come down from your ivory tower. Things are falling apart down here.

Friday, September 19, 2014

ABA periodical touts JD-Advantage careers, such as "time traveling sleuth" and "music aficionado turned entrepreneur."

As dupednontraditional noted in his last post ("JD-Disadvantage, Part V"), commenters on a recent thread at JD Underground found numerous examples of help wanted ads announcing that, sorry, JDs will not be considered. And check out some of those positions—litgation coordinator, banking compliance specialist, immigration specialist, litigation paralegal, and "Justice Advocate" for a nonprofit. Stuff that a JD might be good at, where his or her brutally expensive professional studies might come in handy from time-to-time. But, such is the reputation of our professional education and degree, that the employer nonetheless specifies no JD applicants. That's not JD Disadvantage, that's JD Disqualification.

Well, at least the ABA periodical "Student Lawyer" has acted responsibly and warned its young readership of this disturbing phenomenon. After all, the purpose of this publication is to "provide[ ] guidance on educational, career, and related issues for ABA Law Student Division members and other subscribers."

No, just kidding. Rather, the cover story of the most recent edition of Student Lawyer assures readers that the range of nonlaw careers where a JD can utilize his or her legal education is "vast." The article, by GM Filisko, is entitled "Finding Your Non Law Niche," and opens with some priceless hype about "the good news." [1]
"Sometimes, you just know. And for some in law school, what you know is that practicing law through a typical legal employer would never make your heart sing. At the same time, you know the value of a legal education, which is why you chose law school in the first place.  The good news is that if you’re looking for a career that takes advantage of your legal education but doesn’t pigeonhole you into the legal field, the range of career choices is vast—and there are probably options you haven’t even considered yet. Here, four law school-educated professionals talk about their nonlegal careers and offer advice for students in search of their own niche."
As promised, the article then briefly profiles four law school educated professionals who are enjoying nonlaw careers. The four JD–Advantage niche careers are: "deal maker," "PR pro," "time traveling sleuth," and "music aficionado turned entrepreneur." (You see, nonlaw opportunities are not only vast, they are also cool!  Wouldn’t you rather be a time traveling sleuth than some boring old banking compliance specialist?)

The "time traveling sleuth," which is actually the author’s cutesy term for private investigator, states that "being a lawyer lets me rise to the top of my profession." But the sleuth is short on specifics, other than that he has benefited by knowing the law. So perhaps further evidence is needed before concluding that spending $200,000 in law school tuition and expenses is the best way to prosper as a gumshoe.

The "music aficionado turned entrepreneur"—one Marc Luber—wanted to work in the music industry. He therefore went to law school because he knew that the music industry deals with contracts and in law school you learn about contract law. Luber did do “music-related licensing” after graduation, but he abandoned that to found a website called "JD Careers Out There."  

Luber explains that the JD Advantage magic exists, but you may have to wait a while for it to show up—like 10 years after graduating. "I think it’s pretty common for most people who end up using their degree for something other than law to feel they’ve benefited as a result of having that degree. . . They often don’t feel that way for the first 10 years after graduating, but I think they do start to feel that way."

The "deal maker"—a commercial real estate management executive—explains that he found law school valuable because "When you’re going through transactional classes in law school, it’s a great thing to really bang into your head early on that maybe what you need to do is an analysis of what each side wants so there’s a way to make a deal." I am still puzzling over that comment. I mean, do really you need three years of law school head-banging to learn that deals are often preceded by this thing called "negotiation" where you may have to think about the other party’s objectives?

The PR pro is the only one of the four to be genuinely JD-Advantaged—but his job is law firm marketing, indeed a niche, and not likely to be available to recent grads. 

You know, these days the mismatch of lawyers to law jobs and the disruptive effects of technological change on the profession are occasionally acknowledged by ABA muckety-mucks and even law school deans. But I have never heard any of them acknowledge the existence of the toxic law degree issue. 

It does not take a time traveling sleuth to realize that the scam has pivoted to target young persons of average to below-average intelligence and sophistication, which is arguably more morally repugnant than scamming the comparatively bright and resourceful, who at least have a greater ability to bounce back. Thus, the need to continually alert the public to pro-law school propaganda and to patiently explain that no, a law degree will probably not yield an exciting niche career as a time-traveling, music-loving, unicorn-riding entrepreneur, no matter how many decades elapse after graduation day.


[1]  A synopsis of the article is available here.        

The full article was available online a couple of days ago, but no longer. I assume you can obtain the article by becoming a print subscriber for $25, but I do not recommend it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

JD-Disadvantage, Part V

UPDATE:  Looks like we have yet another to thank for highlighting this issue.  Check out the following link.

Original post follows:

After a while, this blog starts to write itself.  I have written several posts on this topic alone, and skeptics could rightly suspect that perhaps I am one of the "few" for whom law school was not a great investment, thus my frequent revisiting of this topic.  Maybe I'm merely an outlier, and many, many JDs have actually found rewarding careers outside of the practice of law, as many a ScamDean, LawProf, ABA shill, NALP shill, and LSAC shill have claimed?
Not according to the data, as discussed previously.  Further, I am hardly alone in warning people away from the "JD Advantage" moniker - I came across this excellent thread over at JDUnderground, and I will let the posters speak for themselves.  Here is a partial excerpt:

wolfman (Sep 10, 2014 - 1:37 pm)

Someone mentioned doing a thread on this earlier (JD disadvantage jobs or something similar) and I thought it was a swell idea. So, here it is. If you come across a job that EXPLICITLY and SPECIFICALLY excludes people from consideration because they have a law degree/J.D., please post it here.

I think this is quite law-related, in that it serves to acquaint prospective/current law students with the real deal on "JD-advantage" jobs, but if the powers that be feel otherwise, please move the thread elsewhere...

The main point here is that, while J.D.-preferred jobs do exist, there are also jobs where you are specifically excluded from consideration because you have a J.D.

Of course, this neglects the gazillion job openings that never state so explicitly, but in reality will never interview/hire "a lawyer," just because he's "a lawyer," and never mind other qualifications or experience... but that topic has been adequately discussed elsewhere, for example:

This is for places/roles that flat-out TELL you that they will shred your resume BECAUSE of your ever-so-valuable-and-versatile legal education. Thanks for playing!


wolfman (Sep 10, 2014 - 1:38 pm)

I'll start: you're one of those social justice types, and you wanna to work with mentally ill people, maybe prisoners who have mental illnesses, and are about to be released? And have a law degree? Surely these soft-hearted social-service non-profit people won't hold your legal background against you? Why would they?

Haha, no soup for you! "No J.D. applicants please." They are soft-hearted, after all - they did say "please."


willworkforfood (Sep 10, 2014 - 3:33 pm)

And not two sentences later: "The Urban Justice Center is an equal opportunity employer."



jorgedeclaro (Sep 10, 2014 - 5:41 pm)

Wow, that website should not exist. It leads people to believe that there is such thing as a paying public interest job that can be obtained just by responding to an internet job post.


wolfman (Sep 10, 2014 - 1:58 pm)

Excellent... "NO JDs please as they will not be considered."

Thanks, lol school.


ichininosan (Sep 10, 2014 - 2:01 pm)

Legal Assistant / Office Admin - Family Law (Downtown Seattle)

"Attorneys and/or JD candidates kindly do not reply."


onehell (Sep 11, 2014 - 12:03 pm)

The analyst one is my favorite. "No JDs" is the very first bullet under "desired skills." In other words, the thing we want most in the world is for you NOT to have gone to law school.


taway (Sep 10, 2014 - 2:31 pm)

At least they're being honest about it. I hate wasting 20 minutes filling out a nonlegal application that I know probably won't be read because I'm a lawyer. Putting "No JD" in the ad saves everyone alot of time, even though the prejudice doesn't make sense.


ibrslave (Sep 10, 2014 - 2:39 pm)

"No JDs" for assistant to partner position at entertainment law firm in Los Angeles. I am sure they would make an exception for a Chapman Law graduate with a certificate in entertainment law.


dropout (Sep 10, 2014 - 2:57 pm)

Is there another field were you see this kind of discrimination? I've never seen an ad requesting that No MBA's or no PHd's need apply. I've seen ads that said no graduates please as this is an internship for a current student but that is different.


wolfman (Sep 10, 2014 - 4:07 pm)

I don't think there is another field that suffers from an imbalance between actual professional opportunities on one hand and the number of graduates on the other to the extent law does... also, no other profession is hated and despised by people outside it to the extent law is... these two factors probably explain much.


elitttist (Sep 10, 2014 - 5:34 pm)

I don't think so. One of my former friends who has a PhD in English got a cushy marketing management job after years of being put through the wringer in academia.


ibrslave (Sep 10, 2014 - 4:02 pm)

"JDs will not be considered" for docketing coordinator position at large D.C. law firm.

"No JD's or Attorneys will be considered!" for numerous positions at a D.C. intellectual property law firm.

"Please, no JDs" for HR Generalist-Legal position in Palo Alto, CA. Seriously, no JDs for a HR position that requires knowledge of state and federal employment law!


kman (Sep 10, 2014 - 10:45 pm)

For some reason, that exclamation point is what really gets me.


gribble (Sep 10, 2014 - 7:39 pm)

This is by far the most toxic aspect of the scam. The federal government won't hire JDs either. Pre-recession they used to, but around 2009 and onwards they pretty much stopped. It used to be JD could substitute for experience and there was a wide range of jobs USAjobs would advertise where presumably the law degree was an asset. I doubt many were getting jobs through there, but I assume some JDs did get in before the flood made the Feds reconsider.

For a lot of positions that don't even make a comment on JDs, sometimes they will contact applicants telling them they aren't looking for JDs. That happened to me before. It was amazing that people feel a need to contact an applicant rather than just ignore them. That is the stain of the JD.

Of course if too many JDs apply they then in future postings will include that language.

It always makes me laugh just how bad it is. I remember I wound up just putting "paralegal" for a few of my previous law firm jobs. And of course taking the JD off entirely. Then just say you did retail after college if it comes up (it doesn't though) or admin assistant jobs. Apparently those are more prestigious than a JD and legal experience.

I can't understand why people still go to law school. To give yourself a decent shot at success you need to really be T5. And even then, the actual practice just is so soul crushing I still don't think it's worth it.

There should literally only be 5 law schools in the country. I truly believe that.


kman (Sep 10, 2014 - 10:47 pm)

I'm confused as to why you prefer to be ignored rather than at least receive some response?


heythere (Sep 10, 2014 - 9:34 pm)

Paralegal Casehandler
The Legal Aid Society has a position for a Paralegal II that is immediately available to be based
in the Health Law Unit. The Health Law Unit operates a Statewide helpline and provides direct
legal services to health care consumers and beneficiaries from all five boroughs of New York
City. We help clients with the following health issues: Medicaid; Managed Care (Medicaid, . .

Please note that attorneys, law graduates and J.D.s will not be considered for this position.

The thread goes on, but I couldn't have said it better myself.  Friends, these are not direct members of OTLSS, these are posters who independently reached the same conclusions as OTLSS, and, as far as I am concerned, share common-cause with us on this topic.  Remember, we don't get paid to warn away prospective students.  0Ls, ignore this data and this wisdom at your peril.   

Monday, September 15, 2014

Guest Post by a Former Charlotte Law Prof, Part II: How Charlotte Law Treated its Students.

[This is the second of a two-post series on InfiLaw-owned Charlotte School of Law, written by a former law professor there. The first post concerned the treatment of faculty and staff. This post concerns the treatment of students.]

To increase student body size, the school has been dropping its admission standards even more. It is now possible for students who scored in the 10-20 percentile on the LSAT to get in. The school also expects its faculty to make marketing calls to accepted students in order to entice them. The staff prepares special key-point tip sheets for faculty to discuss during such calls. These tips are filled with exaggerations and lies (such as making students believe that they can obtain employment at reputable firms or international organizations). Most of the students who scored at the bottom of the admitted pool lack basic reading and writing skills, and so are required to take a pre-1L program to make them able to participate in actual classes.

I have taught several students with special needs and developmental disabilities. The school admits almost anyone, but special needs of such students are never acknowledged and they are not provided appropriate help.

The school goes out of its way to discourage and prevent students from transferring out. Not only does the new curriculum impede it, but faculty is also instructed to make the transfer process for students as hard as possible. Faculty is told explicitly to discourage transfers, and to instruct students interested in transferring to meet with school administrators before proceeding. Those meetings are designed to discourage the students from transferring, and to present them with more lies about why Charlotte Law is the best choice for their tuition money.

Some students who are admitted are not only academically challenged and have personality disorders, but are also dangerous. I know of three male students who had physically threatened several faculty members or made them so uncomfortable that the faculty members would refuse to meet with them alone in their offices. Several other students had acted inappropriately and violently in class. Yet not a single one was dismissed or suspended due to such behavior. At Charlotte Law, it is all about the tuition money coming in!

Although some faculty members are talented and care about their students, many are utterly incompetent, arrogant, and disrespectful, and some are even mentally unstable. Frequent faculty conversations reveal how many of them do not respect their students; some even feel contempt for them. Numerous faculty members do not know basic rules of citation (electing to cite at the end of each paragraph instead of after every single sentence, even if citing to the same source throughout the paragraph). 

Many overwhelm their students with powerpoints, handouts, and a constant flood of assignments instead of focusing on teaching core subjects. Also, all doctrinal classes must include midterm exams in addition to finals. This interferes with the ability to have a flow of teaching during the semester, and causes the students unnecessary stress. Many professors do not know how to write or spell properly, and many are teaching courses that have nothing to do with their experience or teaching interests. Hence, they simply regurgitate casebooks. Some are known to simply read aloud large portions of casebooks in class instead of actually teaching. Many lack basic common intelligence, as well as basic social skills. Even more astounding is the high level of emotional disturbance or mental problems among them: A faculty member has thrown her shoes, during lectures, at students who had displeased her.

From what I have heard, the situation is even worse at Florida Coastal and Phoenix, as well as at other for-profit schools InfiLaw is contemplating buying in the near future...

Friday, September 12, 2014

Guest Post by a Former Charlotte Law Prof, Part I: How Charlotte Law Treated Faculty and Staff.

What follows is an account of the goings-on at Charlotte School of Law by a former lawprof there. It will be published in two parts --today's post concerns the treatment of faculty and staff; the second and final post will concern the treatment of students. 

Charlotte Law, of course, occupies a special place within the law school scam as one of only six accredited law schools that are run on a for-profit basis, and one of three (soon to be four) owned by InfiLaw (aka "The InfiLaw System"). All InfiLaw schools, in the words of Paul Campos, "feature atrocious employment statistics, sky high tuition, enormous class sizes, and graduates with massive debt loads." Perhaps opposition to InfiLaw's astonishing version of legal education is an area of common ground for scambloggers and law professors. 


I agreed to teach full-time at Charlotte Law, after having been lured with promises of great opportunities for faculty members who take initiative. This all proved to be a lie, as only faculty and staff members who are insiders with the InfiLaw power players can get ahead.  Excellent teaching evaluations and scholarship record are utterly irrelevant to the school administrators in their reviews. They seem only concerned with whether or not the school is the right "culture fit" for its faculty members.

With soaring enrollment, sub-par and steadily decreasing bar pass rate (near the 60% mark right now), and poor career placement rate, Charlotte Law feeds on students who were not accepted into any other law schools and who are foolish enough to pay (or take loans) to cover the high tuition fees. Making money for the top administrators of the school, as well as for its investors (in InfiLaw), is the only thing that matters. Many faculty members had admitted to me that what the school is doing is not ethical, but have not left due to the abysmal academic market right now.

Faculty is not treated well. The school does not hire tenure-track faculty anymore. Instead, faculty must choose a teaching track (which entails teaching about 8-9 credits per semester), or an alternative track (which entails teaching the traditional 2+2 classes, at about 2/3 of the normal salary). Most faculty chooses the teaching track, which can be overwhelming at times, especially given how much harder that student population is to teach. This increased teaching load results in overworked faculty, who are not able to attend to the students as much as they should. Furthermore, the school just changed its curriculum, infusing it with tons of required skills-oriented courses. The courses are repetitive and offered before students have the substantive background to be able to tackle them. Furthermore, faculty has no experience preparing or teaching the new courses.

The reason for this curriculum change has been tacitly acknowledged as a method to make it harder for students to transfer out. Even core courses have been renamed, and students do not complete all the typical core courses until their 2L year because the 1L curriculum is peppered with practice-oriented classes that take away from their ability to actually focus on learning core legal concepts. Furthermore, the new curriculum prevents students from taking any electives until the end of their 2L year or their 3L year.

All new faculty and staff members are required to attend 4 full days of Emotional Quotient training. Instead of focusing on their students or scholarship,  faculty is forced to share their personal issues and bond superficially.  I have heard participants mock what others had shared behind their backs. Notices about these training sessions are always last-minute, and typically scheduled during religious holidays or vacation breaks. Those who are unable to attend are threatened with termination.

Faculty is given very little opportunity to voice their opinions. Voting on faculty appointments is not anonymous. Frequent faculty handbook changes are likewise voted on publicly. The administration had even put forward proposals for IT to have access to faculty's personal smart phones if they also contained Charlotte Law email accounts, and the ability to wipe out ALL the data on them. Weekly faculty meetings are mandatory (an attendance sheet used to be passed around), and there remains huge pressure to conform and attend them all, no matter how much that interferes with teaching preparation or scholarly pursuits. Most faculty meetings do not seem to have a purpose, aside from reciting the three mission pillars, brainwashing the faculty, bemoaning low applicant numbers, and putting a rosy spin on falling bar passage rates. 

Scholarship is ignored or even actively discouraged. The library does not even have any secondary sources. Thus, all books faculty uses for research need to be requested via interlibrary loans. At least some of the librarians make it clear how helping faculty is at the bottom of their list of priorities.

The school has been continuously creating new assistant dean positions that are unnecessary. It has several InfiLaw insiders in dean positions that are superfluous. No one seems to know what it is that they do. The new administrative posts are all filled with people who support InfiLaw’s ideology, even though most of the could not have even gotten adjunct jobs at decent law schools (as indicated by the schools they attended, lack of scholarship, and no law teaching experience).

The whole institution is like a cult, always reciting their three mission pillars (skills preparation; being student-centered; serving the community) before the beginning of any faculty meeting. Unfortunately, these ideas are paid lip service only; the only mission of the school is increasing the student pool to make bigger profits for its administrators and investors.