Thursday, December 4, 2014

California Western School of Law alum receives a special sales pitch from a school peddling online MBAs to dissatisfied recent law grads.


(Dear California Western SOL Alumni: You were gullible enough to graduate from this lousy law school, so perhaps you are deluded enough to pay for an online MBA. If you find yourself in a hole, keep digging). 

A recent post at The Faculty Louse, I mean Lounge, noted that a school called William Howard Taft University is trying to peddle a three-semester long online MBA program "designed specifically for newly admitted attorneys who are facing career challenges." The post’s snarky title ("An $18K Solution To New Law Grad Unemployment?") indicates that its author is appropriately skeptical. I pity the law school hustler who cannot even elicit a supportive comment or two from the academic narcissists who gather at The Louse.  

A correspondent, a grad of California Western School of Law, has provided OTLSS with a copy of a letter he received from William Howard Taft U. (below), which was directed to him precisely because of his status as a Cal West Law alumni. (above)




Taft's sales pitch is that its online MBA program ("with a concentration in Professional Practice Management") can teach the nuts and bolts of running a solo or small law firm to recent law school graduates. ("The Program teaches the skills necessary to manage a successful solo or small legal practice. It combines a traditional M.B.A. curriculum with webinars and assignments directly related to the practice of law.") Another lure, of course, is that its students get to defer existing student loans, with the slight drawback that they will be adding significantly to the sum. ("For those that qualify, it is also the only University program approved for Title IV Federal Financial Aid, allowing some to borrow tuition and living expenses while also deferring repayment of existing federal student loans.")

When a professional school tries to peddle more education to a drowning-in-debt lawyer, it does not need to utilize crass hype, just a delicate suggestion that all is not well. The letter received by our correspondent states:
"We understand that many newly admitted attorneys are facing economic challenges that didn't exist at the time they decided to attend law school. If you're not satisfied with where you are professionally here's an option you should consider.  
If you are presently employed and satisfied that your professional goals are being met, there's no need for you to read any further.  You can simply toss this letter in the trash. . ."
The signer, Taft President Jerome Alley, can be confident that few recent Cal Western grads are satisfied that their professional goals are being met, what with Cal Western's astonishing 31% bar-required job placement rate plus the fourth highest median per-student debt load of any law school in the country.

To recap. A bottom-tier law school takes three years of your life, plus your borrowed fortune, fails to teach you how to practice law, and leaves you to flounder. Then an iffy business school steps in and tries to sell you an online program that purports to teach you what law school should have taught you, but did not. By the time the lower-tier higher-education mongers get through with you, there will certainly be a whole bunch of impressive letters after your name (JD, MBA, PPM). Unfortunately, everybody will pronounce them as DUPE.

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Interesting side-note: Taft runs an unaccredited correspondence law school, though its law school is evidently not involved in the particular educational product it is offering to law grads.

In California, grads of unaccredited law schools can sit for the bar, but only if they first take and pass a so-called "Baby Bar" after their first year of law school. In its most recent administration,  only 11% (4/ 38) of Taft law students passed the Baby Bar. For Taft law students taking the first-year exam for the first time, the passage rate was 6% (1/16). Yes, Taft is a school with a lot of worthwhile legal instruction to offer.

Oh, Taft Law's most famous graduate-- someone who evidently did succeed in passing both the Baby Bar and the real thing-- is a conspiracy loon and public blight named Orly Taitz. It is funny to think that the vast majority of Taft law students are even less capable than she. 




36 comments:

  1. "So, if I've peaked your interest …"

    The spelling is piqued, you fucking idiot.

    Old Guy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Was about to say the same thing. Glaring error.

      Yeah, that dude is a fucking idiot.

      Delete
    2. It's a common mistake. I think to jump on that as some kind of end-of-the-world situation says more negative about the complainer(s) than it does the person who made the error. It doesn't make the man an "idiot". Get over yourselves, seriously.

      Delete
  2. Apparently these people don't know that "SOL" stands for "shit out of luck".

    Old Guy

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  3. These hustlers have no shame. I'm embarrassed by what my generation has done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed, the baby boomers will go down in history as a parasitic, downright destructive generation. A goddamn plague of locusts.

      Old Guy

      Delete
    2. Seriously? Some of us never joined the hippy dippy free-love protest marching hordes of pot-smoking scumbags who screwed up the 60's and 70's.

      Hard-working over-taxed self-employed with 10 employees baby boomer.

      Delete
    3. Imagining The Open ToadDecember 4, 2014 at 7:40 PM

      Gotta agree with 12:57 and (incidentally) remark about the amazing boomer-hatred that's common on this website.

      I'm not a boomer, but I do know lots of struggling boomers who haven't ransomed anyone's futures. Not their own, not the X-ers (my gen), nor the Y's or Millennials.

      Delete
    4. 6:40: I know plenty of Boomers who have ransomed people's futures. Not only do I know some and work with them but I see them in positions of power. Its the 90 percent of Boomers who give the rest a bad name.

      Delete
    5. And how does your alleged saintliness absolve the generation of its responsibility?

      Old Guy (Generation X, blighted in the shadow of the baby boomers)

      Delete
    6. These Boomer generation arguments really detract from the cause of the Scam movement. Personally, I believe it shows dysfunction, which may well account for why some of you are unemployed. There are people in every generation who abuse the rest of the people. Dysfunction, depending on how bad, simply makes it difficult for people to work because they are so narcissistic, all they can think of is themselves and how the world has done them wrong. Its really sad.

      Delete
    7. The scam movement is about reforming legal education and warning 0Ls. The scambloggers are providing a public service, so don't get it twisted.

      Delete
  4. "Peaked your interest." Wow. If I didn't know better I would think this is satire instead of a sad attempt to squeeze that last little amount of blood from these turnips. These people are parasites living off other parasites.

    ReplyDelete
  5. And after the Cal Western JD, gets his/her MBA from William Howard Taft University, he/she can an LLM from the James Buchanan School of Law and Air Conditioning Repair in Fresno. And after that, why not a PhD. in Art History from the University of Southeastern Idaho? Keep those degrees (and loan $$$) coming in until its time to retire.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I want to register for a PhD in scam leadership at Indiana Tech.

      Old Guy

      Delete
  6. I'm reminded of L4L's now-classic post on "after scammers" such as Solo Practice University. This is simply another example of bad actors preying on the screwed-over law grad's desperate desire to recover on their misguided JD "investment." Unconscionable.

    http://prestttigious.blogspot.com/2011/04/convergence-of-suck.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do give them a smidgeon of credit for bolding, underlining, and italicizing the part of the letter that urges readers to throw it in the trash. Maybe the writer had a pang of conscious, or maybe it was just a subconscious thing.

      Delete
    2. But even that was shamefully undignified. Who ever writes a letter that invites the reader to throw it into the trash?

      Old Guy

      Delete
  7. (phone rings)

    Hello?

    "uh... (heavy breathing) ... this is.. (more heavy breathing) your past student loans rapist calling (even more heavy breathing)..."

    Hello?!?

    "So... uh... (continued heavy breathing) you uh... (panting) maybe wanna go again?"

    WHAT?!?

    (slams phone down, hard)

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This is the imagery that is conjured in my mind reading something like this.

    Ridiculous.

    It's like a rapist calling and asking for Seconds, for chrissake!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Why is this automatically a Scam? One of the complaints I hear over and over on the scamblogs is people are not practice ready. Well if this is a way to become practice ready and maybe even open your own shop . . is that automatically a bad thing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you already have 270 K in loans like a young lawyer I know, what's the difference if you borrow more. At some point, it merely becomes monopoly money that is never going to be paid back anyway, especially under IBR.

      Delete
    2. - Fly by night, unaccredited online law school
      - Preying on 4T grads that will likely never have a career in law
      - Main selling point is that you can pay for it with yet more student loans
      - How are you supposed to learn practice skills from online videos, ffs? That's even worse than classroom lectures
      - Online MBA from garbage school = less than zero value. Educated employers will laugh at you.

      Need I go on?

      Delete
    3. Imagining The Open ToadDecember 4, 2014 at 7:44 PM

      2:09, see prior replies.

      Please, if there's some truly reasoned rationale for promoting this degree in the face of their answers, let us know.

      But me, I just don't see it. It's just more taking advantage of students (now graduates) who can ill afford being raped yet again.

      Delete
    4. 2:09, you can't be serious. 3:15, yes, that's the whole problem, and OUR tax dollars are funding this nonsense. Call me crazy, but I believe most Americans want to pay back their debts.

      Delete
    5. Looking at the courses, there are really only two that allegedly have something to do with "law," and even then only tangentially. One would probably be better served by an actual MBA (maybe).

      Delete
    6. I'm coming to the conclusion that one would be better served by slitting one's wrists.

      Old Guy

      Delete
    7. Literally the only reason this might ever be worthwhile is to (essentially) defraud the Dept. of Education out of money, and use the loans as welfare checks. But good God, if that is how you want to play it, there are probably still better ways than this. Even an M.A. in basketweaving might at least teach you how to weave baskets.

      Delete
  9. NEW APPLICANT/APPLICATION NUMBERS!!! AND THEY'RE BEAUTIFUL!

    From LSAC:


    "As of 11/28/14, there are 70,009 fall 2015 applications submitted by 11,415 applicants. Applicants are down 8.5% and applications are down 9.5% from 2014.

    Last year at this time, we had 23% of the preliminary final applicant count."

    ReplyDelete
  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  11. For some people it will be okay that can jump the gap from failure to success. It is a possibility that this is a good opportunity for some people. If this is not a good program, what is a good one that cost much more? So we hope we can learn here, even without a bachelors degree. I need Grad school funds and if not here, it would be somewhere later. Some people have dysfunctional history in process of their college education due to all factors that had occurred. From a scale of 1-10, some students have to mush themselves through the snow drifts they face. If you have other options, I do not have for immediate law school class. I do not have to attend at Taft Law School but it is here if I do or if I do not. It can assist in obtaining a lawyers degree. Can I compete with the best in the nation and succeed? Robert Sherman Nix III, Joy Jubilee of Yeoman Loyalist. The Tory Party.

    ReplyDelete
  12. As opposed to prestigious law schools that I read about that accept too many students that already not likely to obtain the degree that the money is for.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Despite graduating from CWSL in two years (law review, no less)...passing the CA bar on the first attempt...and having earned a master's degree previously (USC)...it took me several years (and literally thousands of applications) to find a low-paying ($40 K) job as an attorney,-- position for which had to commute 65 miles each way....Due to an economic downturn, I was laid off after a year. I was forced to endure a series of scut-work jobs (telemarketing, etc.)...as my student loans defaulted. Two bankruptcies, decades of financial struggle, and here I am--nearing 60 and flat broke.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I went a year and now at least I can do some legal forms and orient myself to basic task even if not covered in class. Who is the average John Q. Public has $1500 to pay to begin a legal action that is what minimum a lot of lawyers start asking? But if I had the credentials maybe I could do it for less or little. At least I should be able to do basics and that is what it is all about anyway even if you go to Harvard which is probably no easier or may be easier at law school that tests by semester or quarterly, because to test for 12 months at the end of the year is harder.

      Delete
  14. It is not all bad if people need a cheaper law school. Many people need a legal studies credential for a job situation. I would expect big law firms to discriminate against CalBar schools, but look how they stack up the benefits for all the other people that get the red carpet ride through college, English lessons too? How is that fair, I need English lessons and extra credit for my English speech impediments I was born with in from Appalachian areas of Alabama.

    Well, if one has a cheap law degree, maybe it is possible to do cheap legal work, help people and the attorney himself, do tax-work, immigration, pro bono while on Food Stamps and go to court and defend people when bored and need a meal, help the disabled, even with Social Security, help the elderly, aboriginal people if they need help, help anyway you can use your knowledge when you feel like helping, do cheap legal work. At least knowing anything about legal forms and process and rules is more than most people.

    There is always teaching in a lot of fields and areas. Maybe go back and get an Associates Degree if not in default on Federal Aid, get another degree.

    ReplyDelete
  15. It is not all bad if people need a cheaper law school. Many people need a legal studies credential for a job situation. I would expect big law firms to discriminate against CalBar schools, but look how they stack up the benefits for all the other people that get the red carpet ride through college, English lessons too? How is that fair, I need English lessons and extra credit for my English speech impediments I was born with in from Appalachian areas of Alabama.

    Well, if one has a cheap law degree, maybe it is possible to do cheap legal work, help people and the attorney himself, do tax-work, immigration, pro bono while on Food Stamps and go to court and defend people when bored and need a meal, help the disabled, even with Social Security, help the elderly, aboriginal people if they need help, help anyway you can use your knowledge when you feel like helping, do cheap legal work. At least knowing anything about legal forms and process and rules is more than most people.

    There is always teaching in a lot of fields and areas. Maybe go back and get an Associates Degree if not in default on Federal Aid, get another degree.

    Robert Sherman Nix III

    ReplyDelete