Back around October 2014, this blog reached 1,000,000 page views. Just a little over two years later, we have recently surpassed the 2,000,000 mark, and I thought a short review was in order.
First of all, it is gratifying to see that a sea-change finally took place within the movement. The first two to three years of OTLSS was regularly peppered with mockery, derision, and disbelief concerning the idea that law school could even remotely be a "scam." Deans, Prawfs, and some other vocal critics would regularly pontificate about how great a law degree was, how the employment data was "fine," how the debt was "managable," and how scambloggers were uncouth know-nothings who just didn't want to work very hard.
Turning to today, I don't see much of that anymore. With Indiana Tech closing down and schools like Charlotte teetering on the brink, all of a sudden the scambloggers don't sound so misguided. Law jobs keep not coming. LSAT and Bar Passage rates continue to drop. Hard-hitting articles in major news sources, naming law schools by name, are more and more prevalent. Significant amounts of staff and faculty have been let go. The ABA and DoE are being shamed into finally doing their actual jobs and following their own standards. Student Loan default rates and employment statistics have been shown to be doctored. The Cartel is on the defensive, instead of basking effortlessly in the unearned, unspoken and unquestioned presumption of quality and preftige. OTLSS and many, many others deserve a pat on the back for not backing down and proclaiming the truth.
That said, there are still miles to go. Many schools are engaging in whatever tactics they can to garner students, get bail-out funds by slapping names on buildings, firing employees, and anything else to keep the doors open. Shockingly, there are a handful of schools who are still trying to get opened and accredited in the first instance, as if there was some strange economic sign that law schools were lucrative again and legal careers plentiful at this point outside of the T14 or so (if that). Many still want to blame the bar exam or State-level Boards of Bar Examiners for failing statistics, not their own admission policies. The Courts are still loathe to afford the same standards and findings for law students that they are willing to afford to other students who have been scammed by educational institutions. Yet more and more students are pumped out into a market that cannot absorb them by half.
As we go forward, patience is key. People are paying attention and getting the message. Applicants are down again this particular cycle, and the "new normal" appears to be settling in. Just an in protracted civil litigation, sometimes the process has to take its own course for an extended period of time before the parties are willing to settle, or before the court finally issues a ruling. Reality is slowly being accepted, and we can celebrate that fact regardless of what particular source or sources are driving it at any given time.
Perhaps one day, going to law school will actually be a smart move again for a significant number of people. Up to and until that time, friends, let's continue to stick to our guns and proudly proclaim our message - it matters to people, whether or not they realize it and whether or not we get a "thank you". (Although, once in a while, it happens!) Ultimately, this market correction is fundamentally no different than any other, and it is long overdue.