Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The ABA again Demonstrates Whose Side it is Really On

And the ABA wonders why membership among young attorneys is down...

Per TFL, TaxProf, and others:
At a meeting in June,...the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar approved a proposal that begins a process, as Jerry puts it, “to completely eviscerate the steps [the Section] approved in 2015 to assure greater transparency in reporting law-school-funded positions,” and to undo the disclosure of other potentially valuable and important employment-outcome information...:
  1. [T]he proposal apparently seeks to eliminate disclosure of the number of students graduating from a law school each year...thus making it difficult or impossible to determine what percentage of the graduating class got what kind of job, or any job at all. This is an incredibly easy number to determine and disclose...[and] it has been disclosed for decades.
  2. The proposal also makes it more difficult to determine how many postgraduate positions a law school itself has funded, and makes it impossible to differentiate any school-funded position that is long-term, full-time and pays more than $40,000 annually in its first year from any other LTFT Bar-Passage Required or JD-Advantaged job.
  3. In the guise of “simplification,” the proposal seeks to eliminate a number of different employment outcome categories that have been reported for years and in some cases decades, namely:
                    Collapsing [non-JD required jobs]...into a single category entitled “Employment Other”;
                    Collapsing five size-based categories of private firms into...“Firm 10-100” and“Firm 100-500”;    
                    Collapsing ["other"]...into a single category entitled “Unemployed or Status Unknown”; and
                    Collapsing [clerkships] into a single category.
The process by which these proposals were adopted was utterly unworthy of any responsible system of representative policy-making.  According to Prof. Organ, the justifications offered for these changes were factually inaccurate in some instances, and apparently many of the changes were not even discussed before being voted on.  Even more disturbingly, the proposal was offered to the Council just two days before its meeting, with no public notice or opportunity for comment. 
While this shocks absolutely no-one among those of the cynical, wizened readership of this and other scamblogs, who are often the debt-ridden products of the above-referenced, bait-and-switch system, it is nice to hear some LawProfs actually call this out for what it is.  Given how some LawProfs have virtually made a side-career of dismissing and even mocking the plight of the loan conduits students and alumni from whom they have benefited, one would think that the entire academy was in on the whole sick joke of it all, and couldn't possibly care less so long as the checks clear.
Granted, that does describe the vast majority of the academy, but hey, at least it's not 100%.
Potential 1Ls, this is your national accreditation body playing hide the ball.  These are the law schools who are suffering from low enrollment, complicity wanting the ABA to obscure the truth.  These are the "ethicists" and "justice-seekers" who are desperate for you, the "sophisticated consumer," to sign on the line that is dotted such that the gravy-train keeps on rolling.  They do not want you to know the truth, because, well, the truth hurts, and that impacts them adversely.  While I applaud those who are willing to speak up, as that no doubt subjects one to some slings and arrows from one's so-called compatriots, notice the deafening, resounding silence from all the other interested parties.
What meaningful and permissible purpose is there for the ABA to recommend a course AWAY from transparency?  How can this possibly help you, as the future student?  Consider this before taking the plunge.  For most of you, that means walking away, now.  For those who choose to remain, know what game you are getting yourself involved in, eyes wide open, and make sure you have ample backing if you do.  


  1. How many of those positions funded by law schools pay $40k or more? That aspect of the change may not make much of a difference.

    The mergers of various categories, however, obscure significant differences. For example, there's a world of difference between a federal clerkship (such as the one that Old Guy had) and a local clerkship.

    I'm not sure that I mind the consolidation of non-legal jobs into "Employment—Other". The category "JD advantage" invites so much abuse that it may as well be subsumed under a general heading for jobs outside the legal realm.

  2. The trifecta of scamming is now complete: the scam is dead, long live the dead.
    1. The California Supreme Court buckles to pressure from the scammers and determines, more or less, that the California Bar really is "too hard" and so it decides to make it easier. And as goes CA, so go the other state bar examiners-no doubt, all will soon buckle and either make grading easier, or the exam easier, or both.
    2. DOE collapses in its efforts, and approves loan dollars flowing to TTTT Charlotte. So no DOE enforcement, period, it appears, of graduation rates/job placement.
    3. The ever-worthless ABA backtracks on job information. If I'm reading things correctly, the "simplification" will allow law schools to pretty much intentionally mislead(lying is such a harsh word) prospective students about jobs prospects of graduates. Or maybe, just maybe, everything is a "JD Advantage" job if you look hard enough.
    And ok, three is arbitrary, so here's one more: Harvard is now a full time scam supporter. Now that Harvard LS will take the GRE, school's out kids; soon the ABA will approve virtually all standardized tests, in the transparent hope that the more tests, the more it will be impossible to actually compare anything.
    There is no joy to be had in saying this, but the scammers have won. Charlotte and Vermont live on, Charleston thrives, TJ is still taking money for dupes-and the three(ok, four) recent events have assured a long life for all these TTTTs.
    And OG, yes, the law schools will make 40K magically appear-after all, the duped students had paid in over 200K to the school already.
    In 2015, a total of 212,512 BAs in humanities were awarded in the USA. The supply of willing TTTT students is assured. The scam bloggers have gotten through to those who will listen-but for the rest, it's either work at the GAP or go to law school and take on 200K in debt. Since the undergrad debt is never going to be paid anyway, let's go with the debt. It's like playing the lottery: after all, a few attorneys make a ton of money...maybe I'll get lucky and be that attorney. And if not, well LS beats standing on my feet 8 hours a day for $12/hour.

    1. The ABA may as well abandon standardized tests altogether. Already it effectively does so by neither setting nor even suggesting a minimum score—and by condoning the admission of large numbers of "students" in the lowest few percentiles. Why not just open the whole goddamn process up to the admi$$ions offices' discretion, without even the pretense of objective assessment?

      On top of that, why not abolish the requirement of disclosing overall data on employment? Just say "You'll have to trust us, lemmings", and point them in the direction of Scamkovic's (f)article about the "million-dollar degree".

    2. Regarding standardized testing, you are clearly seeing the future. Appreciated GULC's excuse for now accepting the GRE(and soon, no test at all).

    3. From Georgetown (definitely a toilet school and a trap school):

      —— open wide the doors to an even more diverse population

      Yes, the population of people who would score poorly on the LSAT.

      —— We believe this change will make the admissions process more accessible to students who have great potential to make a mark here at Georgetown Law and in successful legal careers, but who might find the LSAT to be a barrier for whatever reason.

      Oh, sure, "for whatever reason". Does anyone care to guess what the "reason" might be?

      A. Shitty score on the LSAT
      B. Hopeless lack of intelligence
      C. Total unsuitability for law school and the legal profession
      D. Lemming-like delusions of grandeur
      E. All of the above

      And I see that Kellye Testy has been climbing the scam's ladder again. Now she's CEO of the LSAC. What next?

  3. And the pigs now are accepting the GRE as an alternative to the LSAT, for law school admi$$ion$. Hell, at what point will they admit someone on the basis of completing a coloring book - and a statement that they really, truly want to be a lawyer?

  4. They should just eliminate any semblance of fact-based reporting and simply report a numerical average, on a scale of 1-10, of how awesomely the faculty thinks the most recent class is slaying the job market.

    These schools have the data and means to compile useful studies for 5 years out, 10 years out, etc. Instead they're trying to obscure what happens one year out.