Saturday, January 17, 2015

How low can they go? (Part 2): Tracking the decline of 25th percentile LSAT scores for incoming students, 2011 to 2014.

Cannon fodder. According to wikipedia, this term refers to "combatants who are regarded or treated as expendable in the face of enemy fire. The term is generally used in situations where combatants are forced to deliberately fight against hopeless odds with the foreknowledge that they will suffer extremely high casualties. . . . The term derives from fodder, as food for livestock."  

Similarly, one might use the term "law school fodder," to refer to kids with abysmal academic records and standardized test scores who are nonetheless recruited by lower-tier law schools, via sophisticated marketing techniques, into their fiendishly expensive JD programs, and then cast into an absurdly over-saturated profession that values prestige, cleverness, and influential contacts. Does anybody doubt that these are the kids who are much more likely to pay full or near-full tuition, to fail the bar exam, to be unable to obtain or hold law jobs, to lack a skill set that might yield a decent job in some non-law field or an ever-elusive JD-Advantage gig, or to provide ineffective assistance to their clients if they do become lawyers?

Count on the law school mongers, as well as some of the delusionally naive young tyros themselves, to criticize scambloggers for discouraging these kids’ dreams of lawyerly glory and to tout their handful of unexpected, against-all-odds, success stories while glossing over, or even outright denying, the plight of the multitudes left mangled and ruined on the battlefield.

The chart and lists that follow track the decline in LSAT scores at the 25th percentile of incoming students. [1]  Here is a link to a scaled score-to-percentile rank conversion chart. (And here is a link to  Part 1 of this post, tracking the decline in median LSAT scores). As with the earlier post, I got the 2011 LSAT scores from the Law School Transparency site (LST). The 2014 scores have not been posted at LST yet, so I obtained them directly from the 509 forms located at:

Law schools, of course, are now required to report 25th percentile scores on their annual Standard 509 disclosure forms. They are not required to report the scores at, say, the 5th or 10th percentile. One can only imagine.

Change in LSAT score at the 25th percentile of incoming students, 2011-2014.  [2]

25th percentile LSAT score up by 4 pts.
25th percentile LSAT up by 3 pts.
25th percentile LSAT up by 2 pts.
25th percentile LSAT up by 1 pt.
25th percentile LSAT unchanged.
25th percentile LSAT down by 1 pt.
25th percentile LSAT down by 2 pts.
25th percentile LSAT down by 3 pts.
25th percentile LSAT down by 4 pts.
25th percentile LSAT down by 5 pts.
25th percentile LSAT down by 6 pts.
25th percentile LSAT down by 7 pts.
25th percentile LSAT down by 8 pts.

25th percentile LSAT score down by 8 pts. 

Hofstra (155 to 147)
Western New England (151 to 143)
Suffolk (151 to 143)

25th percentile LSAT score down by 7 pts. 

Brooklyn (160 to 153)
American (159 to 152)
McGeorge (155 to 148)
Southern Illinois (151 to 144)
Thomas Jefferson (148 to 141)
Ave Maria (146 to 139)
Charlotte (145 to 138)

25th percentile LSAT score down by 6 pts. 

DePaul (154 to 148)
University of D.C. (151 to 145)
LaVerne (150 to 144)
Whittier (149 to 143)
Valaparaiso (147 to 141)
Arizona Summit (146 to 140)

25th percentile LSAT score down by 5 pts. 

Univ. of Florida (160 to 155)
Pepperdine (158 to 153)
Villanova (157 to 152)
Univ. of Pittsburgh (157 to 152)
Marquette (154 to 149)
Drake (153 to 148)
Vermont (151 to 146)
Univ. of Arkansas- Little Rock (151 to 146)
Northern Kentucky (151 o 146)
Elon (150 to 145)
Ohio Northern (149 to 144)
Univ. of North Dakota (149 to 144)
Charleston (148 to 143)
Florida Coastal (145 to 140)

25th percentile LSAT score down by 4 pts. 

Georgetown (167 to 163)
Univ. of Georgia (162 to 158)
William and Mary (161 to 157)
Univ. of North Carolina (161 to 157)
Florida St. (160 to 156)
Brigham Young (160 to 156)
Baylor (159 to 155)
IU- Bloomington (158 to 154)
Rutgers-Camden (156 to 152)
Univ. of San Francisco (155 to 151)
Univ. of Cincinnati (155 to 151)
Quinnipiac (154 to 150)
Univ. of Maine (153 to 149)
Campbell (153 to 149)
Washburn (152 to 148)
South Texas (152 to 148)
Samford (152 to 148)
IU-Indianapolis (152 to 148)
Mercer (151 to 147)
Northern Illinois (150 to 146)
Golden Gate (150 to 146)
California Western (150 to 146)
Roger Williams (149 to 145)
Oklahoma City (149 to 145)
Univ. of South Dakota (148 to 144)
St. Thomas- Florida (148 to 144)
Capital (148 to 144)
Faulkner (146 to 142)
North Carolina Central (145 to 141)

25th percentile LSAT score down by 3 pts. 

NYU  (170 to 167)
Northwestern (165 to 162)
Vanderbilt (165 to 162)
Fordham (163 to 160)
Boston U. (163 to 160)
Boston College (162 to 159)
Arizona St. (160 to 157)
Wake Forest (160 to 157)
Ohio St. (159 to 156)
Univ. of San Diego (158 to 155)
Univ. of Richmond (158 to 155)
Georgia St. (158 to 155)
Cardozo (158 to 155)
Univ. of Oregon (157 to 154)
UNLV (157 to 154)
Univ. of Minnesota (157 to 154)
Drexel (157 to 154)
Penn St. (157 to 154)
Chicago-Kent (155 to 152)
Wayne St. (155 to 152)
Univ. of South Carolina (155 to 152)
Univ. of Kentucky (155 to 152)
Seton Hall (155 to 152)
SUNY-Buffalo (154 to 151)
Seattle (154 to 151)
Univ. of St. Thomas (153 to 150)
Univ. of Missouri-Kansas City (153 to 150)
Univ. of Memphis (153 to 150)
Southwestern (152 to 149)
Baltimore (151 to 148)
Akron (151 to 148)
St. Mary (151 to 148)
Pace (151 to 148)
NY Law (151 to 148)
Albany (151 to 148)
Western St. (149 to 146)
New England (149 to 146)
John Marshall (Chicago) (149 to 146)
Widener-Harrisburg (148 to 145)
Dayton (148 to 145)
Touro (148 to 145)
Mississippi College (147 to 144)
Barry (147 to 144)


Law Schools with 25th Percentile Scores at 147 or below for entering class.

(There are 49 schools that fit this criteria, which are listed below. In 2013, there were 44. In 2012, there were 32. In 2011, there were 16.  A score of 147 is in the bottom 1/3 of LSAT test takers).

1. Hofstra 147
2. Idaho 147
3. Mercer 147
4. John Marshall (Atlanta) 146
5. John Marshall (Chicago) 146
6. Univ. of Arkansas-Little Rock  146
7. California Western 146
8. Northern Illinois 146
9. Northern Kentucky 146
10. Nova Southeastern 146
11. Golden Gate 146
12. Hamline 146
13. New England 146
14. Vermont Law School 146
15. Western St. 146
16. Widener-Harrisburg 145
17. Cooley 145
18. Dayton 145
19. Univ. of D.C. 145
20. Oklahoma City 145
21. Roger Williams 145
22. Touro 145
23. Univ. of Mass-Dartmouth 145
24. Univ. of D.C. 145
25. Capital 144
26. Barry 144
27. Univ. of South Dakota 144
28. Southern Illinois 144
29. St. Thomas (Florida) 144
30. Florida A&M 144
31. Mississippi College 144
32. Ohio Northern 144
33. LaVerne 144
34. Charleston 143
35. University of North Dakota 143
36. Suffolk 143
37. Texas Southern 143
38. Western New England 143
39. Faulkner 142
40. Southern 142
41. Appalachian  141
42. North Carolina Central 141
43. Thomas Jefferson 141
44. Thomas Cooley 141
45. Valparaiso 141
46. Florida Coastal 140
47. Arizona Summit 140
48. Ave Maria 139
49. Charlotte 138


[1] The three ABA-approved law schools in Puerto Rico are omitted because I did not think there was any relevant info to be gleaned from the results of an English language test imposed on a Spanish-speaking applicant pool.

[2] The + outliers are Case Western (153 to 157); Univ. of Mass-Dartmouth (142 to 145); Stanford (167 to 169); and Univ. of Illinois (156 to 158).

In the case of Univ. of Mass-Dartmouth, the improvement between 2011 and 2014 was undoubtedly due to the school's achievement of ABA accreditation in 2012. Case Western, an especially brazen promoter of the international law sub-scam, is no favorite of OTLSS. But credit where due, I suppose. Maybe foreign firms and human rights organizations complained about the quality of the unpaid interns that Case kept sending over. Credit where due to the University of Illinois as well, providing that its numbers are honest this time


  1. Third Tier Drake has seen a 5 point drop in this metric. Since so many other ABA-accredited toilets have suffered similar or bigger declines, their US "News" & World Report ranking will likely remain about the same.

    At what point do law schools start admitting people who can put together a 100 piece, children's puzzle. I can see it now, i.e. "No LSAT needed! GPAs don't matter! If you have a 4 year degree from anywhere, and you can put together this puzzle in less than 48 hours, we have a spot for you!"

    1. Will there be puzzle waivers for those disadvantaged students unable to complete the task because of poverty or institutional racism?

  2. Is NYU missing from the list- 3 point drop from 170 to 167?

    1. Thanks for the catch-- I accidentally placed NYU in the "unchanged" category. Fixed.

    2. Team, thanks for the correction, and you're doing a great job. That's an absolutely fascinating post.

  3. Glad to see my shit-hole alma mater Western New England is accepting students with a 143 on the LSAT. Keep that diploma mill status and awful bar passage rate going while the Dean makes 300k and professors 200k+. Assholes.

    1. I can see some Top 30 schools having to pay that much for genuine talent. But there's absolutely no excuse for Western New England paying more than 80K to a professor or 120K to the head dean. That school is presently run entirely for the benefit of the faculty.

    2. I completely agree. The school exists in order to generate obscenely high salaries. Eventually in a few years, when the total student loan bubble keeps growing (projected to be $6.5 trillion in 2030, I believe current estimation), people will look back and ask why nothing was done to prevent this type of behavior. There is no morality of the elite lawyers nowadays. The profession is in massive crisis and no one is doing anything to prevent a collapse which is coming soon. Thousands of lawyers who won't be able to pass the bar or pay loans back are coming now, sooner, and often. This is going to be a big, national story by the end of the year I bet.

  4. Also glad to see my shit-hole alma mater Chicago-Kent is dropping their entry requirements. Those profe$$ors need to maintain their Evanston and Gold Coast palaces somehow.
    Man, the tenured professors were a bunch of useless stuffed shirts. I know it's not going to happen, but it would be lovely to chuck them all on the street, without pensions.

    1. I find it strange that some institutions, like Chicago-Kent and New England Law, were actually started as low-cost, equal-opportunity law schools. Apparently, at some time during the 70s or 80s, all the law schools were captured by the managerial class and turned into cash cows. They skimmed off the cream for themselves, of course.

      To buy the acquiescence of the aging faculties to this perversion of purpose, the managers had to raise faculty salaries to extravagant levels. That explains what you see in Chicago, or Marin County or Suffolk County, leftist professors living like Bourbon nobles before the French Revolution.

    2. Glad to see my shit-hole alma mater, Valparaiso, dropped six points from 147 to 141. They certainly chose mammon over God, lemme tell ya. Somebody's got to pay for those summer sabbaticals and fancy historic houses.

    3. @ 11:46 pm:

      That is what is so mystifying to me about so many of these 3rd and 4th Tier schools who tout "Access". I won't deny that there are underserved markets for legal services, and that HYS grads are unlikely to serve these markets. I do think it noble if a school's primary mission is to create graduates to serve these traditionally underserved markets. But then how can these schools justify the HYS sticker price? Have you seen pics of Florida Coastal's new law building? The sight of it sure doesn't bring thoughts of "modesty" and "public interest". It sounds like 30+ years ago certain schools' cost structures were more "in line" with the image of liberal idealism faculties seem so eager to push out. Wanting to be a "county seat" lawyer (I prefer that term to "shitlaw" as I do think it can be a dignified way to make a living) serving small and underserved communities can be a nice way to make a living. However, there is simply no way any such "County Seat" lawyer can ever have anything resembling a middle class life while servicing $200K+ in non-dischargeable debt. These schools have lost their way and should be embarrassed.

    4. Chicago-Kent is such a glossy turd. Can't believe I fell for that one.

  5. Only one law skule in ten has not suffered a decline in this category. Half of the law skules have suffered a huge decline of three points or more.

    As I've said many times, standards have gone out the window. Nowadays damn near anyone can get into at least one law skule.

    Old Guy

  6. Noticed Pace is not on the 147 or less list. That is because their LSAT report to the ABA is for the 2014 CALENDAR YEAR, and not for the 2014-15 academic year..

    Their class profile of quick facts on the web is of ACCEPTED STUDENTS, not matriculating students.

    What type of nonsense is this? I smell FRAUD.

  7. I'm not surprised Hofstra is the worst. The faculty there has no morals.

    1. I remember that in the late 90's I thought of Hofstra as a decent school. Either I was misinformed by US News, or much has changed since then.

    2. It was in the late 90s. As the economy went bad, the deans, particularly Nora Demleitner, started using scam tactics such as bait-and-switch scholarships and deceptive job figures to attract students. When people caught on, Hofstra started getting a bad reputation. It has plunged in us news over the last two years. Next year it will probably be in the nr category.

    3. There are some people who do well from Hofstra. It is not everyone that ends up screwed. I have been in big law in New York, and know people who have had exceptional success from Hofstra Law. None of those people graduated since the recession hit in 2008 though. If you can get into the system in a good job, you have a chance from Hofstra - basically the same chance if you are going into big law as you have from Harvard or NYU.

    4. For 2013 (the latest figures on LSAT) 2.2% of the Hofstra's graduating class were at firms of +501 attorneys, 0.6 % were at firms of 201-500 attorneys, and 2.5% were at firms of 101-200 attorneys. Not very good odds wouldn't you say. Also 52.7% of the 2013 graduating class didn't have fulltime jobs that required bar passage. Over half the class.

      Going to Hofstra is a terrible idea.

    5. I'm a Hofstra 3L and I've seen the death-spiral first hand. When I started, I was at a middling second-tier law school, which I was fine with because they gave me money. I fully anticipate graduating from an unranked T4. My prospects look alright, and I know a handful of people who have Biglaw lined up, but they are definitely the exception rather than the rule. Hofstra is reaping what it sowed with cooked employment stats, a general culture of mediocrity and a palpable lack of regard for the students themselves. I know lots of students, and I can emphatically say that I don't know one who, by this point, has any overwhelmingly positive feelings towards the school.

    6. from 89th to 4th tier not ranked in three years. Hofstra 3L why did this happen?

    7. 8:53 here. I'm no expert on US News rankings, but I suspect it's because they were hiding the true employment picture pretty badly until the new standards forced them to reveal the truly undesirable data points. The ranking dropped, as did the quality of students. They had to hack the entering class after mine down 100 people to even attempt to hold the line on LSAT/GPA, only to puff it up again for the current 1L's.

      Honestly, I think the school could be okay if they severely right-sized, cut the entering class down to maybe 100 people or less, trimmed the fat off the bloated faculties (seriously, everyone is a "dean" of something, why is this necessary?), cut tuition and accepted the fact that their target market is Queens/Long Island and NOT NYC.

      It's quite sad really. I know a lot of scambloggers think of the current 1L's, and probably myself as dumb lemmings. These are kids, though, people I'm friends and acquaintances with, lots of them, and they're about to get shoved into the world with tons of debt and no job.

    8. I don't know how Nora Demleitner can live with what she did at Hofstra.

    9. I'm sure that uberdean Demleitner didn't live anywhere near campus. Out of sight, out of mind.

    10. I'm with the Hofstra 3L. They're not all dumb lemmings. The lemmings are the ones who call more reasonable people losers or cowards, who brag about how much debt they're accumulating, who expect Harvard jobs coming out of Hofstra, who think that the principles of economics, statistics, and sociology will never apply to them.

      I think it's important that we encourage people to improve themselves, to stretch their capabilities, challenge their limitations, and try to help other people. I just know that charging obscenely inflated tuitions and imposing colossal lifelong debts on naïve young people, based on the implied promise of entering an inbred and overcrowded profession, is the cruelest possible way to exploit and ultimately destroy their hopes.

    11. I just had the most horrifying thought! What if Nora Demleitner is really Brian Leiter minus 150 pounds?

    12. Hofstra is not the worst law school in the country, but it is the worst scam school.

    13. There could be as many as 100 accredited scam schools, and It's difficult to say if Hofstra is the worst. On top of the scam schools, there are the trap schools, extending all the way up to George Washington, Texas, and UCLA.

      Trap schools are those that appear to offer good opportunities for a variety of reasons: good student inputs; decent ratings from US News and other sources; a veneer of academic excellence, including globetrotting professors; some placement in New York or DC; proximity to financial centers and federal courts; specialty programs, journals, and institutes; some graduates in federal clerkships; and double-digit biglaw placement. But the average student from those schools does not have a good outcome, and some trap schools offer little in the way of tuition remission or "scholarships." While Campos has mentioned USC, Fordham, and George Washington as trap schools, it's even more important to avoid such obvious traps as Hastings, Baylor, American, Miami, Brooklyn, and Northeastern.

      While it's understandable that some students find themselves attracted to trap schools, there's no excuse for attending a scam school. Most scam schools aren't even attractive, and their existence constitutes a hidden intelligence test, a hidden tax on stupidity. While we can try to expose the trap schools, there's not much we can do to keep young people with an optimism bias from attending scam schools. All we can do is try to keep them from ruining their lives in the process, which is why loan limits and bankruptcy protection are so important.

    14. Hofstra started a night program so that it could have more scholarship money to attract day students with high gpas and lsats so that it could move up in us news. When it started the program part-time students didn't count in the us news calculations. When us news started to count part-time students Hofstra dropped the program. Do you have a bigger scam story than this?

    15. Here is Dean Yellen announcing the start of the night program in 2003:

  8. Pace was at 147 in the 2013 law school transparency report. Shows you that in New York, Pace, Hofstra and Touro, all at 147 or less, should close because the are filling their classes with substantial numbers of people who do not have the educational credentials to be lawyers. 147 is the 33rd percentile.

    NY Law and Albany Law, at 148, should also be on the chopping block.

    Why should taxpayers pay for people with limited abilities such that they are highly unlikely to have legal careers to go to expensive law schools.

    1. You are right -- taxpayers should be OUTRAGED over what is going on, Taxes should be used for things which benefit society. When someone with a 147 LSAT score transfers $200,000 of taxpayer money to the pockets of some greedy law professors at a TTT law school, and then defaults on the loan or does a slow-motion default (i.e., IBR), how does society benefit? The vast majority of law professors have an overall negative impact on society. Turn off the faucet of loan money that enables their vile, parasitical lifestyles!

  9. All these places at 147 or less should be denied federal loan money.

  10. The ABA rule is clear. ABA Standard 501b. "A law school shall not admit an applicant who does not appear capable of satisfactorily completing its program of legal education and being admitted to the bar."

    These deans and professors claim to be liberals but they don't hesitate to exploit the disadvantaged when it is in their best interests. These people are bottom feeders. They might as well be robbing people at gun point. The faculties at Hofstra, WNE, Suffolk, and the rest are as bad as the worst criminals.

    1. It is clear but difficult to enforce. Every law skule would claim to comply with that rule. What exactly determines when an applicant "does not appear capable of …"?

      Old Guy

    2. As 12:21 stated, I've learned over the years that many, many liberals are happy to spend other-people's-money (i.e. the taxpayers) for do-goodery. Some liberals are not hypocrites, to be sure, but when it comes to the legal professoriate - let's be honest.

      "Does your conscience bother you? C'mon, now, tell the truth..."

  11. How can law schools turn out ethical graduates when they are not ethical themselves? When law students get scammed by their law schools, they will scam their clients. The law school administrators and professors have no morals at all. None. Used car salesmen and telemarketers have more ethics than law school professors.I guess they don't teach the "rule of law" anymore.

    1. So true. Law schools teaching ethics is a complete joke when legal education is a Ponzi scheme that is about to collapse. Put the ABA leadership in jail.

    2. Oh, but there's a huge need for ethics training in law schools. Those future attorneys need to learn that it's immoral and unethical--to the point of disbarment or even imprisonment--to criticize law school deans, law professors, temporarily unaccredited law schools, and any printed work that claims to be legal scholarship. Once they get that firmly implanted in their impressionable young minds, the law school scam will simply go away.

  12. I find it revolting the way these scammers invoke "diversity" to justify their practice of dropping all pretense of admissions standards, and throwing open the gates of law school to people who have no business pursuing a legal education. "Access" is the big buzzword in higher education these days, but law schools are making themselves TOO accessible, and hypocritically cloaking themselves in a sanctimonious dedication to diversity. Puhleez. The way these scammers feign admiration for students' ability to overcome adversity is nauseating, when all they really want is a new crop of (highly diverse!) student-loan-conduits. Diversity is the last refuge of the law school scam-artist, just as patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.

  13. Not everyone is gifted with massive academic talent; not everyone can score top marks on standardized tests. That doesn't give license to anybody to bleed those people dry.

    This is just wicked.

  14. This also doesn't tell us how may members of the entering 1L class have scores falling at or below the 25h percentile.

    But we already know, don't's the entire entering class at or below the 25th percentile save for 2 students; the student whose score comprises the 50th percentile score, and student whose score comprises the 75th percentile score.

    Why would a school ever do that? Why would they accept low test scores over high test scores? Attrition and the dummies pay full ride.

    1. I thought the percentiles were mean scores for the actual matriculating class. The scores of the class are ranked from highest to lowest. If you have 100 students, 25 will be below the 25 percentile. They could be way below that score, but 75 students will score higher than the 25 percentile. 50 students will be between the 25 and 75 percentile.

    2. Hyperbolic. Distribution within bands when the percentile score is equal to or greater than those below. 192 matriculate.

      48 = 25% @ 141 = 1 person has 141, 47 have 128
      96 = 50% @ 145 = 1 person has 145, 47 have 142
      145 = 75% @ 149 = 1 person has 149, 49 have a 146

  15. Someone mentioned earlier how the idea of there being such a thing as an LSAT score that's "too low for law school" has been totally thrown out the window, The new prevailing mentality is "no score is too low!" I took the LSAT a few years ago and got a 155 on my first attempt. I knew that this was a poor score, and not nearly good enough to get me accepted at any law school worth attending. I buckled down and practiced like crazy, and got a score in the high 160's. (I didn't attend law school, though.) Given all that, I can't understand what's going on in the heads of people who get scores in the 140's and think they should still be attending law school. They don't seem to understand that simply showing up and taking the test and getting a score doesn't qualify you for anything at all. You also need to get a GOOD score, The other day on Law School Lemmings there was a Tweet from a woman who had scored a 150 (44th percentile). She was sharing this news like it was a laudable achievement! And some bottom-tier law school will gladly take her loan money and turn her into an indentured servant. We need to return to the idea of a cut-off score, and if you can't score higher than that number, you don't get to commit financial suicide. We'd be crushing dreams, yes, but also doing these poor souls a favor, sparing them so much misery!

    1. The reason why they don't realize they shouldn't go to law school is the same reason they scored in the 140's. A fool and his money....

    2. Wholeheartedly agree with you on the point of studying for the LSAT. Given how hard it is to get an entry level job as a lawyer, anyone with any brains will study like crazy for the LSAT so they have the most options as to law school attendance.

      If you cannot get a high LSAT score, your reading comprehension is probably not strong enough for you to be a good lawyer. Even if you get legal work, which is a big if, you are likely to have performance issues with your work.

    3. Standards have fallen so far that your friend with the 150 would probably get a sizable scholarship from most of the dumps at the very bottom. She'd probably have one of the highest LSAT scores at Charlotte, for example.

    4. Set 160 as the threshold. In other words, make only the top 20% of the test-takers eligible to apply.

      Old Guy

    5. The ABA doesn't set any kind of minimum score for schools to follow does it? It only mandates that 90% of applicants have to have an LSAT score. Schools are allowed to set their own minimum. There's really nothing stopping schools from letting in people who score 120.

    6. Indeed, 120 (the lowest possible score) is the minimum. The ABA, in its infinite wisdom, requires the exam but doesn't require any score above what one would get by leaving all of the questions unanswered.

      Old Guy

    7. When the median scores at the bottom 20 schools get below 130, they will suddenly stop declining. Then the ABA will assure us that the situation has stabilized.

    8. Only a couple of thousand people per year get scores that are that low. There aren't all that many to go around.

      Old Guy

    9. "Given all that, I can't understand what's going on in the heads of people who get scores in the 140's and think they should still be attending law school. They don't seem to understand that simply showing up and taking the test and getting a score doesn't qualify you for anything at all."

      Every year, a new crop of young people emerge. They start out not knowing anything, and have to learn.

      Now, you might say 'google it!', but remember, they've been indoctrinated in the 'more education is always and everywhere good' idea since birth, and they've accepted it to the point of getting a college degrees.

      There is information out there, on sites like here, but remember that this is the internet, so there is 'information' out there like why you should buy miracle cures for cancer and so on.

      And the schools teach that law school is good. I'll wager $20 that if you went to your nearest college's career center, you'll find hundreds of high-quality pamphlets touting law schools, and staff eager to help new grads apply.

      A large and sophisticated system is set up to steer people into law schools.

  16. Even with a score in the 140's, you would think they would at least have a tiny bit of awareness....I mean, if they are taking the LSAT, they are college graduates, or soon-to-be grads. They must have SOME capacity for thinking rationally....or is that too optimistic?

    1. There are powerful social and political forces, other than the schools themselves, that put out massive amounts of propaganda in favor of public interest law careers. Listen to some of the rhetoric on MLK Day, and notice how it matches almost exactly what the law schools are currently saying.

    2. Please read Law School Lemmings. Some of those kids are just so completely lost. They don't have a clue what lawyers do. They think they'll be rich. It's very depressing reading their twitter feed as there are a lot of graphic sexual descriptions and other vulgarities worked in with mindless pseudo-inspirational crap.

    3. That's what you get with credential inflation - a BA/BS is no longer a real accomplishment and can be obtained by anyone who is capable of the most minimal effort.

  17. You've got to love the dig at Illinois at the end of the post.

    1. Wonder how Mr. Pless worked out that little, uh, solicitation charge in the end?

    2. Interesting question. Someone speculated that maybe there's more than one Paul Pless in that part of Illinois, that the age of the perpetrator didn't quite match the former Dean Pless's college graduation date.

      I think that encouraging aimless young people to destroy their lives with permanent debt based on artificially inflated admissions statistics--at Illinois, Hofstra, or anywhere else--is far worse than a solicitation charge. The cops in downstate Illinois need to grow up.

    3. "downstate".

      Ah, another Chicagoan who thinks anything South of Kankakee is "downstate".


  18. Cannon fodder or a loan conduit--which would you rather be? Is there any difference?

  19. what about this new BLS thing with the stats? It was on JDU...apparently the BLS has changed their methodology to make the lawyer glut disappear.


  20. All this lowering of admission standards makes you wonder how much steeper the drop-off in attendees would look if you count only the attendees who would have been admitted in 2000-2010.

  21. Almost all of the law school candidates with LSAT scores in the 130s and 140s would be infinitely better going to trade school.

    1. I thought trade schools weren't that easy to get into? (at least the cheaper non-diploma mill ones)

  22. What's particularly appalling is that 147 is good enough for a "scholarship" at many law skules. Since when do those in the bottom third deserve such distinctions?

    Old Guy

    1. You already figured it out, because the law school knows telling a kid he got a $1,000 merit scholarship is scammer, psychological pay dirt. It's not as if these kids are not aware that they are not at the top of the LSAT score stack, they're just trying to get in somewhere, anywhere. Now these kids get to tell some inevitable naysayers that not only are they going to law school, but they got a...*SCHOLARSHIP.*

      That's really almost as good as scamming gets.

      That $1,000 could buy $250,000 in revenue. That's money well spent. There is, after all, a certain amount of venal artistry to the scam.

    2. Besides, the "scholarship" is only funny money. It is not actual cash paid from an endowment; it is a mere discount offset by people, typically with even lower scores, who are paying the full (and obscenely inflated) price.

      Old Guy

    3. When I first heard about Thomas Jefferson Law School's matrix I was thinking that 140 must be their cutoff. They are just reducing their price by $1000 but calling it a "scholarship" rather than actually cutting tuition. (and allowing lemmings to think that they "earned" a "scholarship")

      But what is truly wild is that there are people being admitted to law schools who wouldn't even qualify for such "scholarships" TJLS's matrix bottoms out at 140, yet Ave Maria and Charlotte have 25th percentile scores below that and Arizona Summit and Florida Coastal have 25th percentile scores of exactly 140. A full quarter of the students at those schools would have earned no "scholarship" on TJSL's matrix.
      What hope do these students even have?

    4. @ Old Guy,

      Yes, yes indeed, it's just a discount off the sticker price, and such a remarkably tiny one given the magnitude of 3 years of full tuition and living expenses, that the only reasonable conclusions are:

      TJLS is offering these "scholarship" discounts primarily for the psychological effect and, TJLS fully intends to mislead, manipulate and defraud her "students."

      I understand the lawsuit against TJ is still alive and kicking and going to trial. I wouldn't settle if I were a student-plaintiff, I'd go to trial. People have had just about enough of educational costs, and for goodness sake, they already admitted to fraud.

  23. What a coinky-dink. Many of the Deans from these Law Schools signed the Letter protesting the bar results from the July 2014 bar exam. See,

    The letter was spearheaded by the University of North Dakota and is on their letterhead although there was no mention that the LSAT 25 percentile at UND is now 144, moving from 149 in 2011.

    1. What...they're afraid of the ABA and enforcement of her bar passage rate rule? Nah, never happen.

  24. This just in. William Mitchell's Hybrid law degree started this month. See,

    From the Law School's webpage:

    "The hybrid program’s core curriculum is focused on experiential learning. Each semester has a clear and carefully designed curricular focus. Students spend 11 or 12 weeks a semester completing online coursework that culminates in a week-long, on-campus Capstone week focused on experiential learning.

    Additionally, William Mitchell offers students in the hybrid program the opportunity to focus on Indian law or law and business."

    So, when someone asks you if you know where they can get a largely online law degree with a concentration in Indian law, you'll now have a ready answer.

    1. There's a high profit margin in Indian law. The BIA throws lots of money into post-secondary education. Just imagine if you lived in Arizona and could get a JD or LLM without leaving your ancestral lands, except for a couple of summers in Minnesota. Sound good?

  25. This has been a great thread, for obvious reasons. This is one of those core issues that strikes at the heart of the law school scam. Lower credentials, declining enrollments, skyrocketing tuition, crushing lifelong debt, misleading employment stats, and a huge surplus of unemployed graduates just about sums up the scam.

  26. I would just like to recommend the following article. Although it is not quite on topic, it does mention student loans and discusses why we are not getting reform of any kind:

  27. If you have a degree and have taken the LSAT, you can get in to some school. I bet an LSAT score of 120 wouldn't prevent you gaining admission at some toilet.

  28. How low can they go?
    What about How low can the salaries go?
    Lebedin Hofman LLP is looking for an associate attorney:$38,000.00-$45,000.00
    in the NY times
    Downtown Manhattan law firm looking for an associate attorney--entry level to 2 years experience.
    Seeking an admitted attorney, for a promising Associate position in a Debt Defense, Criminal Defense practice. Opportunity for a diligent and dedicated Associate Attorney to gain valuable work experience and further their career with an established firm in Manhattan. The Associate Attorney will be responsible for high volume case load, as well as client interaction.

    Job requirements:
    MUST be admitted to practice in NY.
    EXTREMELY detail oriented
    MUST be able to deal with responsibility of large case load
    HIGHLY organized
    MUST be able to multitask efficiently and effectively

    To be considered, forward:
    Cover letter
    No applications will be considered without ALL these submissions.

    1. You can share a tent in central park or a nice spot under an overpass with your clients on that salary with Manhattan's CoL.

    2. I am sure they are going to get a ton of applicants

    3. Pity the clients who get stuck with a lawyer who is handling a large case load for that salary in Manhattan. Most likely it will be some nincompoop.

      I'd sooner throw myself in front of the A train than take that job.

      Old Guy

    4. Labor laws are for coal workers! You're an "employee" but without minimum wage or overtime protection under the federal, Fair Labor Standards Act. You're 'independently responsible' for a case load, but can you turn down a case if it's crap? You bet you cannot!

      The way the labor "market" has gone for new lawyers, it's quite clear we need to be protected by minimum wage and overtime laws, or we'll be exploited worse than any migrant farm worker who at least gets paid SOMETHING.

  29. You gotta be shitting me. I work as a Records Clerk at a San Francisco law firm and make close to $38,000.

    1. Is it a JD advantage position?

    2. No, I dropped out of a T4 shithole, and sure as hell didn't put it on my resume.