Thursday, May 9, 2019

Louisiana and Texas may each be getting another unneeded über-toilet law school

During the past three years, eight law schools have announced their closure: Indiana Tech, Whittier, Charlotte, a campus of Cooley, Savannah, Hamline, Arizona Summit, and Valpo. Three more closures appear to be imminent: those of Western State (no longer receiving money from student loans; embroiled in trouble over the disappearance of millions of dollars in federal funds; barely escaped sudden closure in the middle of the semester that just ended), Thomas Jefferson (only 59 first-year students enrolled last year; did not admit students this spring; big financial problems; operating in reportedly non-functional office space), and Florida Coastal (only 60 first-year students; out of its building; the last of the InfiLaw chain of über-toilets). Many others, from Appalachian to Concordia, may be standing on the brink of the grave.

The states of Louisiana and Texas are not deterred. Just this week they announced plans to consider a new branch of Southern University Law Center to be built in Shreveport and a law school for the Río Grande Valley.

Louisiana already has four law schools, none of them worthy of the name. Southern University Law Center, located in Baton Rouge, is one of the foulest über-toilets, second only to Cooley in the department of low LSAT scores (though admittedly Appalachian, Texas Southern, and others are not far behind). If another law school were needed in Louisiana, Southern University Law Center would be totally unfit to operate it.

The proposed law school for the Río Grande Valley is supposedly justified because the region "has been neglected for decades when it comes to educational opportunities", according to Rep. Armando Martínez, who appears to be the project's chief proponent. The state would require a "feasibility study". Perhaps the scamsters behind this dumb proposal should dust off the one for Indiana Tech and recycle it mutatis mutandis. In the meantime, they have already estimated a few of the costs of opening their über-toilet, including more than $50 million for a building and $800k for a dean and three support workers in the first year. All that for a school that, in their pie-in-the-sky dreams, would attract a hundred students in its first year. Indiana Tech too thought that it would get that many, but only about thirty enrolled.

At least the state of Tennessee had the sense to reject a proposal to let Middle Tennessee State University acquire Valpo: even the price tag of $0 was correctly deemed too high. Let's hope that similar sanity will nip in the bud the patently foolish proposals to create law schools in Louisiana and Texas.


  1. Uh yea....Tulane is a decent lawschool as is LSU and Loyola has been around forever and has created many politicians and Federal Judges. Your problem remains Old Guy, that you are an elitist and think only the elite schools, as defined by US News count...there are some very good lawyers that come out of these three schools. And locally, those are the three schools that count. I doubt an elite degree will make much of a difference to the attorneys who hire for the local firms.

    As for Southern, I am sure it too graduates its share of good lawyers. You see.......Law is not rocket science or theoretical physics. At that level of intellectual thinking you would think the students should be mathematical geniuses at MIT, Stanford, Princeton, etc. Law though? Elitism is irrelevant to success as a lawyer because law takes probably nothing more than a 120 IQ to be competent and maybe very good at what you are doing. Elitism not necessary or required...unless of course you want to be a Supreme Court Justice.

    1. Nonsense. Anyone who has read my writing here knows that I reject the foolish "rankings" put out by You Ass News. My assessment of law schools is rooted not in "elitist" bias but in concrete data on employment and the cost of attendance. I explained the method here five years ago:

      Tulane, LSU, and Loyola all yield unacceptably poor results for the price paid. That, not any subjective opinion of their "decent" quality, is why I say that they are not worth attending.

      Whether Southern University Law Center "graduates its share of good lawyers", as you allege without evidence, is not the question. It is one of the worst of the über-toilets. Three years there, if fully financed by debt (and note that 90% of students pay full fare), will cost $150k for residents of Louisiana and $200k for non-residents. More than a quarter of last year's graduates were unemployed ten months after graduation (several times the rate of unemployment for the general population), and most of the rest held jobs that do not pay enough to support $150k–200k of student loans. Only 57% of Southern's graduates who took the Louisiana bar exam in 2017 passed; indeed, Law School Transparency puts most of the students at "extreme" risk of failing.

      I don't believe in IQ (itself an élitist instrument), but the facts suggest that very few students at Southern University Law Center have an IQ of 120 or better. That would put them at or above the 91st percentile of the US's population. But three-quarters of last year's 1Ls at Southern University scored no higher than 146 on the LSAT—and that's at the 30th percentile. It is hard to believe that the group of people taking the LSAT score so gloriously well on IQ tests that even those at the 30th percentile of that group have an IQ of 120 or better.

    2. Uh yea... The ellipses troll is back. Wasn’t this troll supposed to be banned....from making more worthless comments?

      I doubt the troll knows much about the legal market in Louisiana or the reputation of toilets like Loyola in the legal community. The troll has never even made a meaningful comment that could lead one to assume they even....attended law school.

      One simply needs to do a quick search on the Google machine to find the putrid class of 2018 employment data of the toilet law schools.

      Tulane class of 2018 data:
      70% employed in FT, LT, BP required jobs. 6.5% unemployed 10 months after graduation. 1.6% employed in non-professional positions. 1.6% employed in university funded jobs. 4% employed in short-term or part-time jobs excluding non-professional positions.

      LSU class of 2018 data:
      79.3% employed in FT, LT, BP required jobs. 4.3% unemployed 10 months after graduation. 1.8% employed in non-professional positions. 2.4% employed in short-term or part-time jobs excluding non-professional positions.

      Loyola class of 2018 data:
      67.9% employed in FT, LT, BP required jobs. 10.4% unemployed 10 months after graduation. 1.5% employed in university funded jobs. 7.5% employed in short-term or part-time jobs excluding non-professional positions.

      All of these toilets have unemployment rates that exceed the national average. And that is after these grads spent 3 years learning specialized knowledge. The unemployment rates would be higher had grads not taken jobs at the local Starbucks.

      Old Guy is correct. If you want to work as a lawyer, then perhaps you should go to an elite law school that will get you a job as a lawyer. In order to get into an elite law school, put in the work to maintain a high GPA in college and score high on the LSAT. Should be relatively easy to accomplish these days with grade inflation and all the smart people pursuing medical school, engineering, business, and other career paths.

    3. Sorry, I was too blind to recognize the Ellipsis Troll. I am going to be more aggressive about blocking slander and other disruptions.

      Unemployment at some law skules, such as the notorious La Verne, stands at 40% or so. Underemployment, in forms such as that job at Starbucks (prettified as "business and industry" in the law skules' data), makes the problem even worse. You are right to point out that something is badly wrong when people who "spent 3 years learning specialized knowledge" find themselves unemployed at a rate much higher than that of the general public. But actually law-school graduates ordinarily spend at least 7 years after high school, plus time for the bar exam, to become lawyers. And most of them have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for their Valuable Degrees. Needless to say, the scam headquarters that is the ABA doesn't give a good goddamn about appalling rates of unemployment among graduates of its duly accredited scam schools. Nor do the scamsters who profit richly from the law-school scam.

  2. "The proposed law school for the Río Grande Valley is supposedly justified because the region "has been neglected for decades when it comes to educational opportunities", according to Rep. Armando Martínez, who appears to be the project's chief proponent."

    Yeah, and I bet the state of Alaska has been "neglected" when it comes to outdoor water park opportunities. Perhaps there are some very good reasons for this "neglect."

  3. That Texas pig politician just wants to do a ribbon cutting and get his name on a building.

    Maybe reward a few of his lackeys with "positions" at this dump.

    1. You have much to learn, grasshopper. . . I mean 12:30 PM. The real money in gubmint spending is in construction. First you need land. Say, maybe the Rep has a perfect piece of property. Last year my state's outgoing D governor got busted trying to buy a piece of land from a big D donor for about ten times its assessed value. The state has a commission to watch out for deals like that but, hey, no problemo. The local municipality would buy it with a state grant, sidestepping the commission. Thank God for whistle blowers.

      After that, a little creative bid rigging is all it takes for the Rep's buddies in construction to get all the contracts and start cutting corners. In both land acquisition and construction appropriate finders/consultants/whatever else you call kickbacks fees flow back to state rep.

      The courthouse where I mostly work opened twenty-five years ago and toilets have been malfunctioning ever since. Front doors are always jamming because the concrete sill keeps heaving up and pinning them shut, etc., etc. etc.

      When there's public money involved it's almost inevitable. No one has time seeking a building name when there's green stuff after which to be scrambling.

    2. Actually, you're both right; no doubt many palms will be greased if this school is approved, but it's also old-style politics: build a post office, get it named after you. Here, just substitute "law school" for post office.

  4. From a demographics perspective, the Rio Grande Valley probably does need a law school. 1.3 M in the Valley + an extra million with its reach to CC and Laredo, plus it's legitimately an epicenter of trans-national and immigration issues (a real thing, as opposed to a school like Vermont pushing enviro law). This ain't Indiana Tech opening in Fort Wayne.

    The problem is that we're stuck with where people wanted to build law schools in the 19th c. Heaven forbid anyone have the audacity to move Baylor or Texas Tech, or that schools like Washington & Lee reconsider whether they need to exist where they do anymore since it's not 1900 anymore. I'm not even sure South Texas would be willing to move to, like, serve the southern part of Texas.

    1. It may well be an epicenter of immigration issues but good luck finding illegals, sorry, undocumenteds, who can afford legal services.

      They never told you on The People's Court about having to go out and collect a judgment and they never depict on lawyer TV shows the people who don't/can't pay their bills.

    2. The question is not whether this or that area would get a law school if we were starting from a blank slate and allocating law schools rationally. There are already altogether too many law schools, perhaps three times as many as can be justified. I might acquiesce if one of the nine (yes, nine!) law schools in tiny Massachusetts proposed to move to southern Texas. But the proposal here is to establish a new law school.

      As you said, people in the Río Grande Valley, or anywhere else that doesn't have a law school, can move their sweet fannies to a place that does have one—a good one (which in the case of Texas means leaving the state and indeed the entire region). They don't have to have one within a fifteen-minute drive of wherever they happen to live. And their area cannot be said to be underserved just because it doesn't have a law school.

    3. Further to OG's point, when law school was an economically viable proposition it was no big thing to relocate for a few years, take one's law degree and then head home. Nowadays the greed of the schools has made living with Mom and Dad while studying a key criterion for many. But OG is right, the World does not owe you an easy commute to law school, and every new law school spells the doom of many lives.

      In the early 1980's while at a school that hovers around 20 in the You Ass News ratings, I cooked a lot of rice and a lot of potatoes in a deal-of-a-lifetime apartment I had found. Also store-brand canned goods and freeze-dried food the Army had packed for the Korean War but no longer needed. Once a month making cheeseburgers with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise was a feast fit for the gods. Now, of course, if your going to borrow $150K for dubious education you might as well borrow another ten large to at least eat well.

    4. People gladly take out $200k or $300k in non-dischargeable debt bearing high interest for the sake of paying La Toilette Skule of Law & Small-Engine Repair, but insist that they must stay at home with Mom and Dad for financial reasons (though they don't seem to go in for thirty-year-old K-rations). There's a warped sense of priorities.

      Aspirants in some lines of work move to other countries for professional training, yet precious darlings in the 130s and 140s just have to have a law school at their very doorstep.

      Indiana Tech is the poster child for the ill-fated plan of opening a law school just because the area "needs" one. Although a self-serving bullshit "feasibility study" affirmed the crying need for a law school in Fort Wayne, Indiana Tech lasted all of four years before the parent university, having depleted its endowment for that misadventure, pulled the plug. Whether or not southernmost Texas "needs" a law school, any such endeavor would meet the same fate. The area is, after all, large, and people would not flock to a new law school when they could instead go to an established one.

      Indeed, that's precisely why almost any new law school today is doomed to failure. A new law school has no track record, no established presence, no real local connections, no alumni. It will fail to attract significant numbers of people with good qualifications (such as high LSAT scores), for they will enroll, if at all, at a much better law school. Thus all of the talk about starting out with a high "ranking" is risible bluster. The only new law school of the past few decades that came close to succeeding in that respect is Irvine, and its mixed success depended on three crucial advantages that no other new school in the coming years is likely to enjoy: 1) the support of the powerful University of California system; 2) timing (it opened before the sharp decline in legal employment and in the law-school scam); 3) an ungodly infusion of cash, sufficient to buy the first three cohorts of students (the first class got free tuition, the second class got a one-half discount, the third class got a one-third discount). And even Irvine failed to fulfill the goal, trumpeted by its loudmouth of a scam-dean, of starting in the top 20 on the idiotic "ranking" of You Ass News (it actually started at 30). Any Indiana Tech opened in Murfreesboro or Shreveport or the Río Grande Valley can expect to join the ranks of Cooley, only without its staying power.

    5. There are a half dozen law schools that have any national recognition. Maybe a half dozen more that have a broad regional power, but not national.

      Every other law school is only at most good in its locality, and more likely will require toiling in doc review or solo practice. In other words, it is likely better to not have gone at all.

      For those that are from the elite backgrounds, and can not enter the half dozen elite institutions, it is better to just go to a local law school while living with their wealthy parents. They will likely get some work locally and then eventually be moved onto some other quasi-legal position that cares more about the family name/connections than any possible education or work background, albeit their work background will be better than any other graduates of any toilet institutions.

      The absolute worst decision someone can make is to go to a non-elite law school away from home, where they will get debt from tuition and living expenses, and then likely strike out in terms of work. If they're not near a place that at least has doc review, I'm not sure how they'd make money to survive at all. Most non-elite grads I know tended to work non-legal jobs like sales after, with their mortgage sized student loan debt. And these were some very bright individuals with high LSAT scores. The smartest individuals I knew just skipped law school and went into medicine or finance.

      Outside of the named elite institutions we've spoken of before, there is no reason to attend any law school. And even the named elite institutions require a very specific background (under 30 by graduation). Nobody except the very wealthy should attend law school, and it really doesn't matter where the wealthy attend.

  5. Looks like Martinez has been at this since late 2016. Clearly there is something in it for him, irrespective of what students might actually need.

  6. Wasn't Infilaw's main argument that Charlotte "was the biggest city without a law school" so therefore it just HAD to have one?

    1. Good point. Yes, InfiLaw ju$tified Charlotte on that basis, and local shills or dupes rushed to defend the InfiLaw robber barons by complaining of the calamity that would allegedly result from Charlotte's becoming the largest city with no law school.

      Just a few years before it closed, Charlotte had a couple of thousand students at a time. Most of those did not come from the Charlotte area. The über-toilet was so big not because of demand in Charlotte but because of standards reduced to the vanishing point.

      And now we're hearing similar justifications of ridiculous toilet Vermont Law School: "it's the only law school in the state, so it must be kept open at all costs". Every whistle stop has to have its own shitty law school.