Sunday, September 2, 2018

Students leave Arizona Summit … for North Dakota

In my previous article, I wondered what would become of the students of Arizona Summit after their über-toilet law school, just days before the expected start of the semester, announced that it would not be offering classes after all. Now we have the unexpected answer: some 25 students from Arizona Summit have transferred to—wait for it—the University of North Dakota.

"One transfer, Morgan Cosgrove, first interacted with UND’s law school earlier last year at a conference in Los Angeles. Cosgrove said thousands of students at the conference were lined up to talk to schools like Georgetown and other big law schools. But she started chatting with Rob Carolin, director of public relations at UND’s law school…" Here's a hint, Ms. Cosgrove: you weren't going to Georgetown, even in your dreams. And there's a reason for which you were able to speak with the head of public relations (!) at the U of North Dakota without waiting behind thousands of other students.

Ryan Rehberg got out a year ago, while the going was good. He is happy with the "helpful and accomodating [sic]" people of his new alma mater: "[t]hey cared about the whole person, making sure I was set up good". (Apparently they haven't taken pains over his grammar.) Mr. Rehberg has returned the favor by promoting the U of North Dakota to his former classmates. Since he seems to have helped to persuade twenty-five of them to quit the scorching desert for the snowy prairies, perhaps he should take over for Mr. Carolin as director of public relations.

At the 25th, 50th, and 75th percentiles, the U of North Dakota and Arizona summit have exactly the same LSAT scores, though the U of North Dakota is ahead by about half a grade point on undergraduate GPAs. Transfer students' numbers don't count for the purposes of the idiotic rankings produced by You Ass News & World Report, however, so the gleaming legal academy of the Peace Garden State could safely admit anyone with the means to pay. As for payment, it's about $27,500 per year for non-residents (presumably these transfer students all fall into that category), which is admittedly a lot less than the $45,300 charged by the Arizona scum pit. Unsurprisingly, moving from Phoenix to Grand Forks will also reduce the cost of living.

This infusion of transfer students increases the student body at the U of North Dakota by more than 10% and adds nearly two-thirds of a million to the coffers. How did the U of North Dakota pull this feat off? First, by being "nice", as Ms. Cosgrove eloquently put it. Second, by accepting all credits from Arizona Summit. Many law schools accept no more than 45 credits, or even only the first year (understandably, since traditionally people transferred after one year at most); but the U of North Dakota was only too happy to take their mon—I mean, their credits. But the established students may not welcome a large cohort of Summitoids who are likely to keep to their group, compare their new environment unfavorably to their old one, and bitch about the weather or the distance to the nearest major city.

By contrast, Arizona Summit has now lost about a quarter of its student body to the U of North Dakota alone. Other students have transferred to Florida Coastal, and a few with only one semester to go are finishing at Arizona State (though their degrees will still say Arizona Summit). And who's to say how many were snapped up by Harvard and Yale? Now that so many have taken to the hills, will anyone be left to turn off the lights?

Some long-standing residents of North Dakota, or maybe of a nearby state, manage to parlay a law degree from the U of North Dakota into a modest, low-paying job in some small firm or government office. Those freshly arrived from Arizona, however, cannot expect local employers to swoon over people who had obviously arrived in North Dakota only out of desperation. And a law degree from the U of North Dakota will be almost useless in Arizona or elsewhere; indeed, the very name of the school will move many people to laughter.


  1. I’ll be honest OG, I had no idea the University of North Dakota Law School (or is it School of Law) even existed. What a racket.

    1. Each state but Alaska has at least one ABA-accredited law school. And there are proposals to create one in Alaska…

      North Dakota and South Dakota each have only one law school, run by the state university. Along with the U of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, those are the worst flagship state law schools in the US, as measured by LSAT scores.

  2. I have a friend who moved to North Dakota. One year I decided to send her a Walmart gift card for Christmas, thinking it would be a useful gift. I later learned that the nearest Walmart for her is 1.5 hours away and is difficult to get to in the dead of winter. The Dakotas are very sparsely populated.

  3. I thought Nebraska was the underserved market for legal awesomeness, not North Dakota...oh well, looks like North Dakota intercepted all the talent. You snooze, you lose, Nebraska.

  4. Again, weren't these people given the Reverse Golden Ticket-in others words, since the school closed, they could walk away from their loans?
    So they decide to attend UND? What's wrong with this picture?
    Some people will never learn-and the scam thrives. It's almost unbelievable.

  5. I'm not saying UND law is a good idea, but at least the state's population grew 12.3% from 2010 to 2017, driven by the shale oil and hydro-fracking boom. Still not enough to justify stamping out 80-90 J.D.s a year, but maybe enough to offset the declining share of the economy that goes to legal services.

    Of course, if oil prices collapse and shale oil becomes less economically viable overnight, as has happened before . . .

    1. True, but that oil is on the other side of the state. And will the people and firms involved in the oil business want experienced lawyers from other places or Summit-trash recently arrived in Grand Forks?

    2. 8:11 here. Agreed, OG, the oil companies don't want Summitites working on mineral and water rights issues. But 12.3% more people means 12.3% more housing stock, probably 12.3% more car crashes and maybe even 12.3% more oil rig roughnecks busting up barrooms drunk or getting pinched for possession or DUI.

      I'd rather be in the Bakken Formation right now than in many parts of Illinois where people are fleeing a dying economy in droves. But that's right now. Ask me again during the next shale bust.

    3. Good point. Maybe an enterprising Summitite who improbably manages to be called to the bar will go clear across the state to try to clean up the mess left by a failed marriage or an alcohol-induced indiscretion. I certainly wouldn't hire a lawyer, or even a roughneck, who didn't have the goddamn sense to stay away from Arizona Summit.

  6. Just dropped in to the law school scam blog scene after mourning the shutting down of Third Tier Reality, a man who did God's work.

    My child is wrapping up a fellowship in radiology. Has a job offer of $2,000 a month from the employer starting NOW, even though being paid by the Fellowship employer, AND a $90,000 signing bonus, AND $480,000 annual salary, AND 8 weeks off each year, AND a 401K with employer matching contributions, AND (perhaps Ms. Devos) a write-off of $180,000 of student debt in a couple of years.

    I started at $12,400 a year, with NO benefits, and have been a solo after 2 years ever since. My child's singing bonus is not as much as my annual gross income after 40 years of law practice, but close.

    Lawyers and doctors are not in the same category, nor in the same galaxy nor in the same universe.

    My child at age 32 will make more, every 3 months, than I can make as a lawyer, after 40 years of practice in a year.

    So why lawyers and doctors are grouped together from an income earning capability amazes me.

    And the quality of legal education is simply substandard compared to medical education. Period.

    I will not likely be posting again in the law school scam blog environment as I am tired of looking down the same vacuous, all-engulfing, bottomless hole to nowhere.

    I wasted my life as a lawyer, and as a youth, I swore I would not waste my life.

    So, ya'll headed to law school, I have no sympathy for you as many have given fair warning.

    Old Guy and all the others, I have to move on. Time is short.

    The Cincinnatus