Monday, June 10, 2019

Thomas Jefferson School of Law loses accreditation

Today the ABA revoked the accreditation of Thomas Jefferson School of Law. The notorious über-toilet had long been in the throes of death. More than half of its graduates last year were unemployed ten months after graduation, and another sixth or so were marginally or tenuously employed. Enrollment of first-year students plummeted last year to 59, an unsustainably low level. Students paid $50k per year in tuition, but only a quarter of those taking the bar exam last year passed. The school had even lost its financial stability, thanks to declining enrollment and such foolish decisions as the construction several years ago of a ridiculous $90M building that it had to vacate last year in favor of cheap rented office space.

The ABA has demanded a "teach-out" plan whereby those few students still at Thomas Jefferson may complete their degrees. Reportedly Thomas Jefferson intends to appeal against the decision. By doing so, it may be able to defer the submission of a "teach-out" plan. The appellate process could extend into the autumn.

Nonetheless, Thomas Jefferson is done for. It would not have been viable even with another class of 59 first-year students, and now presumably most of those few people who may have been admitted for the coming academic year will look elsewhere rather than gambling on the highly improbable survival of a toilet law school that has lost its accreditation on multiple grounds. Thomas Jefferson has apparently obtained accreditation from the state of California, but that is far less attractive than ABA accreditation. A state-accredited (or unaccredited) Thomas Jefferson would probably attract even fewer students and would certainly have to lower tuition dramatically from the current sky-high level of $50k per year, in part because its students would have less access to student loans or other financial aid. Thus Thomas Jefferson has little hope, with or without ABA accreditation. Count it dead.

I expect Thomas Jefferson to cancel the entering class à la Arizona Summit. Then it will quietly close, whether it carries on with the threatened appeal or not.

Which law school will be the next to die? I'm betting on the Western State College of Law, but Florida Coastal and Appalachian are other strong contenders.

The real Thomas Jefferson was a fan of French wine. Old Guy is going to open a bottle of good Bordeaux tonight in celebration of the demise of another über-toilet law school. My colleagues in the anti-scam movement are welcome to come over for a glass.


  1. Just read the ATL article; while it is good news that this scam school is closing-but apparently not without a fight-it is almost unbelievable that for the past several years anyone applied, let alone attended. TJ had it all: terrible applicant numbers-both quantity of applicants and the quality of their applications; terrible bar passage numbers; egregious employment stats for grads. The objective data was stunning and rock-solid: this is a terrible law school and if you attend all you'd get is massive debt. But still people attended! What were these 59 people thinking?
    It's good news the school is terminal. But the fact that anyone, let alone 59 individuals, applied and enrolled shows that the only way to eliminate the scam will be to end govt loan participation. You can't count on prospective TTTT 0Ls to show any sense. There are just too many stooges willing to enroll otherwise.
    TJ should have had an entering class of zero.

    1. I fully agree. If people insist on doing something as idiotic as enrolling at Thomas Jefferson, let them do it with their own money, not with student loans guaranteed by the government. And if they don't have the money (most would not), well, tough. The public should not underwrite their folly.

      For Christ's sake, more than half of last year's graduates were unemployed ten months after graduation. They had no job of any sort, not even unskilled work one day a week.

      Obviously the law schools and the ABA (which the law schools control) will not establish meaningful standards for admission. Yet the federal government stupidly goes on extending student loans in any amount that the schools demand, to any person whom they admit. A single law school could stick the government with more than a hundred million dollars in losses before anything was done.

      Total insanity.

    2. Total insanity, yes, but how dare the scamblogs speak out against said insanity...! They should just quietly go away, rather than highlighting the personal cost, the illusory opportunities, and general, good old fashioned cartel grift.

      Or so say the grifters who are currently running for the hills.

    3. Old Guy, a person on Reddit claimed (so take this with a bucket of salt) this: "The fall 2019 entering class is still going forward, friend works the admission office there and they aren’t planning to cancel the incoming class for now." If this is true, then Thomas Jefferson SoL is going to go down swinging, pointlessly.

      Proof of comment:

      I think it's utterly insane that TJSoL is still operating after the loss of their swank $90 million building. Who is crazy enough to sign up for a law school that is doomed?

  2. 1. What were they thinking? In point of fact, they weren't thinking.

    2. I agree that the evil is in the loan system. But I do not support a ban on loans, just that the loans use ordinary, rational underwriting standards which would have to include the prospects of graduates of the school the borrower planned to attend.

    3. Here's a novel idea. Why doesn't the ABA require a cash or professional surety bond from all schools to cover the cost of a teach-out? The cost to Harvard would be negligible but the requirement could put the bottom of the barrel toilets under.

    1. Two years ago, the state of Arizona did require Arizona Summit to post a $1.5M bond for that purpose:

      Simpler than your proposal, but at least as effective, would be a minimum score on the LSAT. Require each law school to prove every year that at least 90% of its incoming students scored, say, 151 or better (151 being at the 50th percentile). That little requirement would immediately shut more than half of the law schools down.

    2. “the loans use ordinary, rational underwriting standards which would have to include the prospects of graduates of the school the borrower planned to attend.”

      That is racist.

  3. Thomas Jefferson has issued this press release, apparently as propaganda for the morons who were planning to enroll this autumn:

    The über-toilet calls the ABA's decision "capricious" and vows to contest it.

    There's also this little gem at the end: "According to the ABA, a student who starts at an ABA-accredited law school will be deemed to graduate from an ABA-accredited law school." That's bullshit: the student has to graduate first, and the last students at Charlotte, Arizona Summit, and Indiana Tech found out the hard way that a law school can close down and leave them high and dry. Anyway, even if Thomas Jefferson did stay open long enough after losing its accreditation that the remaining students could graduate, coming out of an "ABA-accredited" law school wouldn't do them much good: they would be eligible for the bar exam, but they would struggle to find work with the damning name of a defunct law school on their résumés.

    Sorry to be rude, but I have to say that anyone who enrolls at Thomas Jefferson at this point is beyond stupid. There might be a case for lack of capacity.

  4. If Western State really does die, this will mean Southern California lost roughly 700 law school slots since 2019 (Western State, Whittier, and Thomas Jefferson). This doesn't include Arizona Summit going belly up (to the extent Arizona Summit fed into the SoCal market).

  5. I discovered that California only requires 60 semester hours of undergraduate education, basically an associates from a community college, to become an attorney. Now I understand why there are a plethora of non ABA law schools in Calif.

    But who is more mad? The fools who go to a 4th tier ABA without a chance of practicing? Or the non ABAs who not spend a fraction of tuition, but only have to invest in 2 years of college? True the non-ABAs have a low bar passage rate, but for the right person it could be a good choice. Such as realtor who wants a law license as well.

    1. Well, "the non-ABAs" fall into two categories: state-accredited law schools and unaccredited law schools.

      To understand how dreadful the unaccredited ones are, see the following:

      Things aren't much better at the state-accredited law schools. See their graduates' results on the July 2018 bar exam (page 6):

      Are state-accredited law schools cheap? I looked at San Francisco Law School, which has been accredited by the state of California since 1937. Its program requires 87 credits at $958 each, plus various other fees. That's about $90k in all. If you're going to spend that much, you may as well go to an ABA-accredited über-toilet.

    2. If know the best choice is to avoid either 4th tiers or state accredited schools, but since both will result in unemployment, the state accredited makes more sense, when the only goal of a student is to obtain a law license.

      Presumably, the school attended has no correlation to passing a bar exam. It all depends on the internal attributes of the student. So, the same student could attend a state accredited and get the same results whether it be pass or fail.

      The state accredited then makes more sense because it only requires an associates degree and the tuition will be less. There might be other intangibles as well such as more night school options.

      I did think it was sad that that Marine was squandering his GI benefits on a a toilet.

    3. I don't agree. One can go to Cooley, which unfortunately is still accredited by the ABA, with as little as an associate's degree or two years towards a bachelor's degree. Many state bars do not accept a JD without a bachelor's degree, but those (other than California itself) certainly don't accept a JD from a California-accredited law school either.

      People who don't care about finding work in the legal profession may go to any law school of their choice, as long as they don't come crying to Old Guy later. By all means go to Big Bubba's Law Skule 'n' Bait Shoppe if you just want to buy a diploma to hang on your wall. I won't stop you. But if you want to do anything else with a JD, such as finding work, stay the hell away from most ABA-accredited and all state-accredited or unaccredited law schools.

  6. How to buy an entering class, courtesy of über-toilet Thomas Jefferson:

    Admission is based on a range of factors, but "scholarships" to newly admitted students are based only on LSAT score and undergraduate GPA. Why does a law skule that uses a "holistic" approach to admission turn to rigid numbers on the issue of price? Might that have something to do with the "rankings" put out by You Ass News or with Thomas Jefferson's promise to the ABA that it would improve with respect to those two numeric criteria?

    With as little as a 2.5 GPA and a 145 on the LSAT (both figures being in the bottom half of candidates), a person admitted to this year's entering class at Thomas Jefferson got a guaranteed "scholarship". With two more points on the LSAT, that "scholarship" went up to $29k per year (about 60% of tuition) or more. And 159/2.5 was enough for free tuition and a monthly payment of $1350 towards living expenses, apparently every month for all three years.

    It seems that Thomas Jefferson was so desperate even for such lousy figures as 147/2.5 that it was prepared to offer a bribe—I mean a discount—well over half of tuition. And in the unlikely case that someone with a 159 applied, Thomas Jefferson would even shell out almost $50k in cash over the three-year course of study. That's an awfully high amount to pay for a single LSAT score. But a notice of probation from the ABA demands attention, and Thomas Jefferson seems to have opened the purse strings in its haste to "improv[e] the LSAT profile of [its] entering students dramatically" (

    Old Guy will let you in on a little opportunity for arbitrage. If you live near San Diego and have the required LSAT/GPA, you can call Thomas Jefferson and ask for that "Merit Scholarship". You shouldn't even have to attend class, since the über-toilet is expected to lose its accreditation definitively before the end of the next academic year. Just sign up and collect $1350 per month. This opportunity for a student to make money off the law-school scam doesn't come along every day.

    1. Insane that a 159 gets you full T + stipend.

    2. And that a 145 (at the 26th percentile) coupled with a dismal GPA of 2.5 gets a "Merit Scholarship". Reminds me of Harvard's undergraduate school, from which about 90% of the class graduates with Latin honors.

  7. The ABA has deemed Florida Coastal to be in compliance with its standards for accreditation after all:

    It's true that Florida Coastal did drive its LSAT scores up a couple of points, mainly by shrinking to an entering class of only 60 (unsustainably small—see the previous posting) but perhaps also by buying some higher scores with discounts labeled as "scholarships". It's still a foul über-toilet, with abysmal LSAT scores and a passing rate around 40% on the bar exams. It will be gone soon enough, I expect, even though the ABA has given it the usual rubber stamp of approval.

    1. Perhaps the ABA has realized that pulling accredidation can lead to messy appeals and potential litigation expense, and has therefore taken an approach of using the enforcement of LSAT standards for admission to starve and suffocate toilets by cutting off their supply of underqualified lemmings. As you point out, Florida Coastal has wiped out all the fat and is now feeding off muscle and bone, shrinking class sizes to unsustainable levels and further sacrificing cash flow by offering discounts to those with higher scores.

      The beauty of this approach is that it is founded upon irrefutable empirical evidence that shows that a lemming with a score below a certain point has little chance of ever passing a bar exam.

      Would I be giving the toilets too much credit to suggest that they have grasped the ABA's strategy and that that is why they are all rallying to the make the bar exam easier cause?

    2. That's the double bind the ABA put the bottom 35-50 law schools in. To keep the bar passage rate above 75%, the schools have to be selective. However, to be selective, the schools have to drastically reduce class size or tuition costs. The schools are thus rendered financially non viable. I think you may see another 10-20 law schools close over the next five years as a result of the ABA actions.

    3. I just learned, if I am understanding that stats correctly, that New England Law Boston had an entering class of about 425 in 2013 then drastically dropped to around 225, apparently in response to the new ABA requirements. At present, the incoming classes are around the 185 range. This is above Old Guy's 75 student breakeven point, but I am wondering if a school that is accustomed to having over 1,000 students in the house at any one time, can adjust financially to having just 600 or so. Would like OGs financial insights on this.

    4. The toilets simply have to go after people with frightfully low LSAT scores (151 is at the 50th percentile, and plenty of toilets plunge far below that), because there aren't enough students with decent LSAT scores to go around, and those that do exist will seldom want to sign up at a toilet.

      Since the toilets have no way to improve the quality of their students to acceptable levels, they are faced with two options: either shut up shop or struggle to perpetuate the toilet. They don't want to shut up shop, so they invariably wind up defending their shabby-ass students as "excellent" and attacking concrete measures such as the LSAT and the bar exams.

      As for New England Law | Boston (complete with ridiculous vertical bar), it will indeed feel the costs of its sharp decline in enrollment. What can it do with all of the empty space in its building? A university might well be able to use extra space for other purposes, but a stand-alone law school cannot easily do so without moving out of the building in the manner of Florida Coastal and Thomas Jefferson.

      In addition, New England Law | Boston probably made financial commitments on the assumption that enrollment would remain high. Now that enrollment has fallen to less than half of the figure from 2013, the toilet may well find itself in financial peril. I don't know the facts about the toilet's finances, but sharp declines in enrollment are often the beginning of the end for stand-alone toilet law schools. Not much can be done about them. A dramatic increase in enrollment is rarely realistic. Some schools try to bolster enrollment by lowering their standards, but that's difficult for a school like New England Law | Boston that hardly has any standards. Cooley was able to close a campus, but most law schools don't enjoy that option.

    5. New England Law Boston does not have an extra campus to close, but it does have an extra building housing its administrative offices that it bought in a down market. It could probably sell that building at a profit, move its administrative operations back to the main building and hold on for a few more years that way.

    6. 1. The only thing you left out, OG, is playing the race card, claiming that your school is fighting for the rights of "traditionally underrepresented minorities" so anyone who questions your admissions standards is obviously a racist.

      2. I made a cursory review of the Suffolk County Registry of Deeds on line. Looks like the mortgage on the admin building at New England is paid off, so a sale is pure profit, with plenty of empty classrooms to convert into offices. But to what end? Sure, given Boston real estate values it will keep them going for a while, but then what next?

      They say there are people in the more remote regions of the Scottish Highlands who are still waiting and hoping for Bonnie Prince Charlie to return from across the water, but he will never come. Similarly, these struggling toilets must be hoping for an eventual return to the glory days of the scam if they can just hold on long enough. With the new ABA firewalls in place, though, if they can't get the bar exams dumbed down those glory days are never coming back, either.

    7. Yes, 6:35, white scamsters disingenuously trumpet "diversity" as an excuse to perpetuate their scam schools' exploitation of racialized people. As if racialized people benefited from running up a quarter of a million dollars' worth of debt for a toilet-paper degree from an über-toilet half of whose graduates can't work as lawyers.

      I estimate that New England comes close to breaking even. By my quick calculations, it probably rakes in about $16M per year and spends a similar amount. It won't be the first to fold. As you said, though, it cannot have much of a future. Maybe its assets, such as that building owned free and clear, will enable it to acquire one of the many law schools in the area, thereby effectively closing an unneeded law school. That's probably the best that it can expect.

    8. Trouble is, look at the other ABA accredited law schools in eastern Mass. Harvard, BC, BU and Northeastern don't look like fish NELS is going to be able to swallow, given that they are backed by solid universities. That leaves Suffolk (not an indy) and Zoo Mass DAHT-mouth, which is backed by the Commonwealth. Let's look at the Twin Cities. Mitchell absorbed Hamline (read: bought alumni donor list) but Hamline was like Whittier Law School, a 1970's money grab that became a millstone.

      You're not gonna beat in-state tuition so the only plausible target is Suffolk. But Suffolk has a parent university with a $100Mil endowment, a $32Mil law school endowment and 1,600 students to NELS's $40Mil endowment and 600 students. The small fish don't eat the big fish, the big fish eat the small fish. And given its lame admissions standards, who wants anything from NELS but, like Mitchell, a cosmetic merger to keep the alumni checks flowing to the only surviving merger partner.

    9. Good observations, 6:50.

      Several years ago I quipped here that New England Law | Boston should try to take over New England Law | Cambridge and New England Law | New Haven. As you said, it is New England Law that will vanish, probably through a nominal merger. But the only likely partner in the Boston area is Suffolk. Harvard, Boston College, Boston University, and Northeastern might be happy to absorb New England Law's assets but would not want its shitty students. (Recall that Arizona State rejected the students of Arizona Summit as generally too lousy to complete its program.) Suffolk has slightly better students than New England Law but could get away with absorbing the existing students, particularly since their LSAT scores and GPAs would not count against Suffolk on the idiotic "rankings" put out by You Ass News.

    10. The real prize to Suffolk would be to get hold of one or both of NELS's buildings and sell it/them to the highest bidder. Nice endowment booster.

    11. Proposed NELS exit strategy:

      1. Announce merger with Suffolk effective in two years, new name will Suffolk University, New England School of Law.

      2. Existing NELS lemmings finish their degrees at NELS and get NELS diplomas. Sell admin building to fund what will effectively be a teach-out, bank extra funds.

      3. Everyone applies to new school for future 1L classes, Suffolk does not increase its size.

      4. Upon graduation of last NELS class, sell main building. Use those funds and extra funds from admin building to retire bonded debt and fund faculty pensions. Any leftover funds from real estate and the NELS endowment go to Suffolk Law endowment.

      5. Suffolk takes possession of NELS transcripts and alumni list for solicitation.

      6. Suffolk diplomas say Suffolk University, no mention of New England, and over time Suffolk slowly phases out use of New England name.

      Because in the final analysis, all the scam deans and lawprofs care about is their own financial well being, which this plan mostly covers. It's a better outcome for them than pissing away the endowment and the value of the admin building covering operating deficits for years and risking a loss of their pensions.

    12. I just took a look at NELS's 529 report for 2019. Theoretically, reducing the student body by more than 50% after 2013 should make the ABA 75% requirement more attainable. But NELS still appears to be struggling. Only 55% of the class of 2018 passed a bar exam. For MA NELS did better, 65%, but for NY the rate was an abysmal 19%. Clearly the school teaches to the Mass. Bar exam. If the ABA interprets its rule as only including the home state, NELS might have a chance to meet the 75%.

      Having reduced its class size to such an extreme degree, and still not having favorable results, where does NELS go next? Can it feasibly cut the class size much more and bring in the revenues to support operations such as salaries and the law library, even if the physical plant is owned free and clear? It is an interesting business conundrum.

    13. Recently I estimated that the smallest sustainable ABA-accredited law school would need about 75 students per class (so 225 in all) and about $6M per year. By my estimates, New England Law has about 540 students but brings in less than $8M per year in tuition. That isn't nearly enough for expenditures, which came to $21M in 2015.

      The good news for New England Law is that it has a large endowment, some $88M in 2015. But if indeed the toilet law school dips into the endowment every year to cover more than $10M in shortfalls, that endowment will be gone in a decade.

    14. 9:30 here, and my point exactly, OG. At the root of it all are two key factoids:

      1. As has been pointed out before in this thread, the glory days of the scam are never coming back.

      2. I had once thought the indies would be the first to fold but I have now realized that the people running the Whittiers of the world know that the parent universities are legally bound to cover their pensions. The scamsters at the indies, on the other hand, know damned well that you can't get blood from a stone or a dead toilet. That is why the scamsters at the indies are fighting like cornered animals.

      5:42 was spot-on. NELS has got no more cards left to play save the one you suggested, pissing away the endowment in hopes (to paraphrase a line from the film "Titanic") of an absolution that will never come.

      Now we must wait and see whether they figure this out, that pulling the plug sooner rather than later is the only hope they have of saving their pensions. I once worked at a law firm that had over-hired associates one year and didn't have enough work for everyone to make their annual billable hours. Problem was, the partners could neither admit nor accept that they weren't bringing in enough work. It was the associates' faults. "There's work out there sitting on partners' desks waiting to get done, it's up to you to go after it." A couple of huge screw-ups went down when associates tried to do things about which they hadn't a clue because they needed the hours.

      When people have a good thing going, more or less on autopilot, it ain't easy to face reality let alone let go of it. As I say, we must wait and see whether they face up to facts, or every year siphon another $10mil from the endowment and re-enact the Passover toast that carried the Jewish people through nearly two millennia of exile: "Next year in Jerusalem!"

      The endowment might last nine years.

    15. I don't think that New England Law | Boston will go the Suffolk merger route.

      The main draw for the NEL faculty would seem to be to piggyback on a Suffolk U. pension. I checked but SU only has a 403(b) at the present time.

      On the Suffolk side they would be gaining the real estate of NEL. I am sure they covet any real estate they can get in Boston, especially at a less than arms length cost, but it would not be used for a law school, since they already have their relatively new palatial gigs in an even better part of town.

      What does Suffolk have to offer NEL to acquire it when the option is to spend down the endowment and liquidate the extra building if necessary. If NEL can hold on for another decade that would fit in well with the current dean's retirement age as well. And that dean runs this independent school like a feudal overlord.

      Not seeing any immediate change. But if the Admin bldg goes on the market, that is a signal.

      Thanks to OG for the information on the endowment balance and revenue information. I'm not sure where that is reported.

    16. The data on the endowment come from this source:

  8. Old Guy said: "Sorry to be rude, but I have to say that anyone who enrolls at Thomas Jefferson at this point is beyond stupid. There might be a case for lack of capacity."

    For the most part. But I'd bet a few are banking on squeaking by, somehow passing the bar, and having some position handed to them on a platter because they belong to some kind of "entitled" group, whether they are adequately qualified or not.

    Again, this is an example of how the scam and shit law schools are causing social problems. A few of these morons actually get jobs that they are incapable of doing, and some even make it into politics and influence policy decisions, even though they lack the ability to think critically.

    1. This is so true. A good number of kids who enroll in toilet schools already have jobs lined up through family or political connections. These youngsters don't have to worry about making law review or graduating in the top 10% of their class. More importantly, these are the students who don't have to debt finance their legal education.

      Toilet schools don't have to explain this to their incoming classes. They just report some percentage of their graduating class landed law jobs within nine months of graduation.

      Pretty sure that's how TJ$L was able to puff their statistics to "sophisticated consumers."

    2. Just being outright rich is enough. If you have capital, other people will do the work for you. That’s how it works, competence is secondary past a very minimal threshold.

  9. Not just the scam schools closing; while not a scam blog, it did offer advice on the scam, but it appears jd underground is shut down. Some of the discussions were helpful; it's too bad they closed.

    1. Oh really? About time. That site has been worthless for several years now. And I wouldn't say it was anti-scam, if anything it seemed to promote law schools.

      Personally I think the law schools won. The scam bloggers did their job, and even mainstream journalists warned of the scam. At this point, we are long past the point where people enrolling are working without important information. The better students all refuse to enroll in anything outside of a top law school, barring the connected students that have guaranteed outcomes.

      My law school doesn't even ask me for donations anymore. They know they won't get anything out of me.

    2. Not sure what you're talking about-how it promote law schools? While there was a sophomoric crew of posters, there were those who regularly posted warning of the scam and its life-ruining consequences.

  10. TJSL can just continue on a smaller scale as a Cali accredited, which it was before the high-flying 2000s. Plenty of fools out there who think a J.D. is worth going into debt for.

    1. But they couldn't get federally guaranteed student loans in order to attend a law school that was not accredited by the ABA.

    2. Now THERE'S an idea. It would be interesting to see the history of TJSL tuition and find out what effect access to government student loans had on it.

      Of course, the toilet's answer would be that any sudden boost had nothing to do with loans; accredidation made their degrees more valuable.

    3. A few years ago, the federal government came close to revoking the ABA's power to accredit law schools.

      Consider that the federal government guarantees the student loans of just about everyone, not otherwise ineligible, who attends an ABA-accredited law school. Since the ABA is clearly not handling accreditation responsibly, the federal government should change the rules, either by putting accreditation into more responsible hands or by adding additional criteria—for example, all but X% of the entering class must achieve an LSAT score of Y, or Z% of the class (with minimum participation of W%) must pass a bar exam within one year of graduation, or V% of the class must obtain employment in the legal profession with a salary high enough to support the payments on the average student's loans (including any loans taken out before law school). Appropriate choices of criteria would kill a heap of law schools within a year.

    4. No doubt this is the end for TJ, but it's best not to get ahead of events. Just three short years ago both Vermont and Charleston appeared to be at death's door and both made miraculous recoveries. I can't figure out how Appalacian makes a go of it financially, but somehow it does. The scam is strong and resilent. Many schools which should have disappeared months ago somehow are still open( Florida Coastal). NOne of it makes any sense financially, but open they are all.

    5. Well, Charleston's troubles stemmed from a failed takeover by InfiLaw. Charleston ended up with a big debt (some $6M, as I recall) to InfiLaw, and someone stepped in and personally guaranteed the debt.

      As to Vermont, its debt was reduced to junk status and it fired most of the faculty, but it still draws in almost 200 students per year at $48k each. Even though it gives large discounts, it probably rakes in about $16M per year in tuition, plus a few million for its LLM programs, and it gets a couple of million in grants from the federal government and a bit of money from donations. That still leaves it with a shortfall from expenditures in the vicinity of $25M per year. So it eats into its endowment (below $10M), and it pulls stunts such as firing all but a few of its professors. But it is still in dire financial straits. A recent loan from the Department of Agriculture (believe it or not) for restructuring the $17M debt has forestalled the Grim Reaper, but the toilet law school of the Green Mountain State can't have much life left in it. Being in the middle of nowhere (people associated with it actually gloat that it is half an hour from a traffic light), it is an unattractive candidate for a takeover—and the U of Vermont has already said no. I expect it to fold within six years.

      I recently analyzed Appalachian ( and predicted that it will announce its closure in the next two years. Florida Coastal will meet a similar fate, though perhaps InfiLaw will kill it by "merger" instead.

      We never said that the law-school scam would collapse like a house of cards, but we did correctly predict that approximately ten law schools would be gone by the end of 2020. So far eight have closed in the past few years, and now both Thomas Jefferson and the Western State College of Law seem to be slated for the same fate. Others will follow.

  11. I thought Jd-underground's history was pretty funny. The person setting it up was actually quite pro law school, (he got on there and made comments a while back). I think he/she set it up hoping to make an income from people discussing law school (like Top Law schools) but instead it was overrun by people complaining about the scam (accurately). Eventually they've realized they wont make a dime on it and just shut it down.

    1. Do we know why it shut down? That place was a treasure trove of horror stories.

    2. Was there a final post or anything? Or some sort of warning? Or did they just shut it down one day? Also how do you know it's not just server problems or something? That it's definitely gone for good?

    3. If there was a "final post," or anything, I didn't see it. Nearly a couple of weeks ago, it just stopped coming up. I think it was just abruptly shut-down.

      Which is too bad - not only will I miss the discussions on clique theory, but there was some pro-law advice/discussion amongst the quirky discussions and horror stories. JDUnderground tried to stay "balanced," if you will, but I guess the snide, cynical conversations took over.

      JDUnderground helped me keep my sanity during those early years after the law school bomb exploded for me personally. Helped me realize I wasn't alone, and that mileage varied greatly.

    4. JDU was an interesting site. A lot of the posters had good info.

      But the admin was a prick. Screw him. Hope he gets hit by a car or something.

  12. A self-identified "academic" proposes that a law school be established in Guam:

    He thinks that a four-year program could churn out 40 graduates a year. That means enrollment of at least 160 at a time, which is about 1/1000 of Guam's population. I find it hard to believe that one Guamanian in a thousand would enroll in a law school in Guam. Total enrollment in law school for the whole US is just over 1 in 10k. Many of those Guamanians who wanted to study law would do so elsewhere, probably at an ABA-accredited law school. Furthermore, there appears not to be a need for 40 new Guamanian lawyers every year: the bar association in Guam has only 311 active members, many of whom live and work elsewhere. Is there any evidence that lots of lawyers in Guam are leaving the profession, or that demand for legal services is rapidly increasing?

  13. Part 1:

    I’m posting this here because all of the other scamblog sources are mostly gone, and if I can even save one person from the law school scam, I think I’m doing God’s work.

    I’m not trying to illicit sympathy with this post and I’m not asking for help. I’m posting this because this profession is a magnet for sociopaths, psychopaths, and narcissists, and I know they post here.

    First, nothing is going to get better. The reason nothing is going to get better is that people in this profession, especially anyone with power, is just happy that other people are more miserable than them, I don’t even know if characterizing the emotion as happy is correct, I think content is the better word.

    There isn’t going to be a correction in the oversupply, there aren’t going to be meaningful limitations on loans, and the problem isn’t going to get better on any level. 99 percent of lawyers have a shit life, and they only thing that keeps them going is that another lawyer has it worse. I’ve seen it over and over and over. People working in shit firms or who post biglaw or are otherwise being exploited, and the only thing that gives them any joy or contentment is that someone, usually with better paper credentials then them, wound up getting annihilated harder.

    Every metric for anyone in the know is that things are going to continually get worse, and not just worse in terms of getting a first job, but even if you a get a good job, the chances of you keeping it long term are close to zero. The supply and demand imbalance is too severe, and it’s going to be dramatically exacerbated by technological advancements and globalization.

    I’ve been doing this for over a decade and everyone I know that does this whose parents are not wealthy is utterly and absolutely miserable. Everyone has to pretend they aren’t miserable because if you admit your miserable or criticize the profession, then your situation is going to be made much worse by the egomaniacs and sociopaths that control it.

    In the more than decade of practice, I’ve seen so many people get ruined. I know people that had good jobs, but once they got let go, it was over because they couldn’t get around explaining to Human Resources why they lost a job. I know people that went from high six figures to document review, and they never recovered. These people are the success stories law schools tell you about because they aren’t part of the first wave of people annihilated who can’t find work immediately after law school.

    I have very specialized experience, but getting another job is beyond impossible. There are hundreds of resumes per posting, with people that have decades of experience, and this is a boom economy.

    One of my closest friends just got let go, and he has fifteen years experience in a niche practice area: he is been unable to find another job and he’s making 25 dollars an hour doing document review. My sister is about to retire as a public school teacher, her pension is going to exceed his total compensation for the rest of his life most likely, but he was considered richer than her because his salary (with no retirement benefits) happened to be higher for a few years.

    My best friend from law school committed suicide because he couldn’t get any work and he wound up homeless.

    I have managed to stay employed but I hate what I do beyond belief and there’s nothing I can do to stop because I need the money and transitioning to something else without experience in the American post industrial globalized economy is impossible. I am counting down-literally- the days until I can kill myself and my family can collect on a life insurance policy. That’s my life. Before law school, I was extremely handsome, popular, athletic and I had other career opportunities, my family pressured me into law because of the cultural view of lawyers. (They tell me I’m fully responsible for my decision now, so take note youngings reading this).

  14. Part 2:

    There are basically five types of people practicing law:

    1) The rich kid doing it for self-esteem. This person wants to tell you they accomplished something on their own. Their ego is tied to the profession. They frequently succeed because the anxiety and stress of practice doesn’t affect them and/or they have capital to make others work for them. If you criticize the profession, or if they get wind you hate it, they’ll punish you if they can because your criticism is tantamount to criticizing the one thing they can say they accomplished on their own.

    2). People who failed, but who love it that others failed harder. They want more and more and more people to become lawyers because they feel as the bodies stack up it will cause some kind of pain on people that have it better. They think by racking up corpses they are getting revenge on someone or some thing, but nothing is really going to happen.

    Categories 1 and 2 are about 35 percent of the profession.

    3) The total psychopath. These guys live to work and destroy and their only contentment is working and destroying. These guys have most of the power in the profession.

    Category 3 is 1 percent of the profession.

    4) From your doc review attorney to non- equity biglaw partner, the people that do this shit everyday who are utterly miserable, but are kept in line by categories 1-3 with the very real threat that life can be made worse upon dissent.

    Category 4 is about 60 percent of the profession.

    5) People pursuing law as a second career after retiring from it as a first career. These are the only happy people, no matter what anyone says to the contrary, approximately 4-5 percent of the profession.

    Most people hate their jobs, just not as much as lawyers, and contrary to what anyone says, anyone that can get into a reasonable law school has other options with youth on their side (a lot of category 2 people are going to respond to this post and this point in particular with derision, but it’s true).

    I know most of you won’t listen. The culture portrays this as a good gig, but it’s so bad I can’t even begin to express how bad it is. I hope you take this post serisously and do something meaningful with your lives, with the best things being the most unorthodox and you don’t throw your lives away so some law school professor can make money, some nepotite can feel false pride, or some sociopath can get off on making your life miserable. I know many of you aren’t going to listen, but note that it isn’t just bad for that first job or for the first few years, this is truly and sincerely the worst white collar career someone without money can get involved with. It’s literally taken my life, the life of my friend, and the economic future of innumerable of my colleagues, and things are absolutely going to get worse as the oversupply gets worse and technology really gets into high gear.

    I wish you all the best, and I hope caution prevails.

    1. Very sorry to hear that you are contemplating suicide. So am I.

      I wish that I could help. Unfortunately, I really don't know what to say.

    2. I’m very lucky. My pain is going end. Most people can’t afford to end their life and they are stuck doing this shit forever.

      My only regret- and I’m totally serious about this- is that these lying dirtbag thieves at law schools are going to continue burying 20k kids a year with money that’s taken from me with a barrel of a gun, as they preach to them about social responsibility, identity politics and other distractive nonsense designed to hide from them the real banditry that’s going on, namely that their life is about to be ruined.

    3. 1:21,

      I can’t imagine what it is like to go through what you are experiencing. I know you wrote that you are not looking for sympathy and you are not asking for help. I just hope that you will consider seeking help.

      I have written comments previously on TTR and this blog. I don’t comment as much because I am a doctor and just haven’t had time. I am responding because I have been impacted by suicide. You say you have been practicing for over a decade. I probably went to law school a few years earlier than you. The scam was alive and well back then when the schools all boasted 99% employment rates and jobs averaging $100k. I was an editor of the worthless law review and graduated unemployed with over $150k in student loans. I was rejected by Biglaw, the Feds, prosecutor offices, public defender offices, state government, and s—t law.

      The war in Iraq and Afghanistan was going badly at that time. The Army was desperate for people. So I enlisted. I was able to repay my loans because I got a bonus, student loan repayment, and my salary while in Iraq was tax free with no living expenses. But getting treated like crap and going to Iraq was a hell of a way to make a living. I am fortunate because the Army gave me the 9/11 GI Bill that allowed me to go back to school and become a doctor.

      I am also very fortunate because I did not suffer injuries or PTSD like others I know. I have a close friend with PTSD and a traumatic brain injury. But one of my most important mentors in the Army, my old 1SG, who deployed 6 or 7 times, ended up taking his life. It’s a punch in the gut to this day. Your family would rather have you than the life insurance. My friend with PTSD sees a psychiatrist through the VA. Despite the reputation of the VA, my friend says he is happy he sought help and gets great care. I hope you will consider seeing a counselor or psychiatrist.

      Everything you said in your comments is true. You are doing God’s work by warning others to stay away from law school. Just remember that you are not alone. You can always talk to the readers of this blog.

    4. Sorry about your loss, 7:33.

      In my case, there has been no job for almost a year. No life insurance. No chance of enlisting in the army (even if I were not inalterably opposed to doing so). No realistic hope of becoming a physician. (Yes, it can be done at my age—let's say 50 plus or minus a few years. But no one would send me to medical school free of charge, and anyway I'm not prepared to try in light of the pervasive age-based discrimination that has thwarted my efforts to practice law.)

      So what is left?

    5. "so what is left" I know what I would do Old Guy. You have the brain power. I would become an expert at "asset protection" through trusts, through hiding money in foreign banks, etc. I would then advertise on the web (through an inexpensive website host, (Go daddy etc.) for all of those who are being suffocated by loans that you will set them so that creditors can not touch them. Or for those facing large judgments. You can charge a few thousand a piece, there should be plenty of business out there, and at the same time you are helping to screw the banks and other lenders. You make money, and you get back at the system. What could be better? And what do you have to lose?

  15. From someone who has been doing this for a long time, the problem is not that the work is bad. Of course, if you do not like reading most of the day, you would be better off in another line of work. The desk nature of many legal jobs is a challenge.

    The big problem is the lawyer oversupply, even if you have paid off your law school education. The lawyer oversupply makes the best law degrees a risky proposition. The oversupply drastically brings down lawyer earnings and creates huge job insecurity for most lawyers. Post-big law, most lawyers with jobs are fungible because they are so easy to replace. There are hordes of elite lawyers who want and do not have full-time permanent jobs requiring a law degree several years after law school. This is because of up or out policies and the fact that the number of law jobs taking out solo practitioners is growing very slowly if at all while the supply of lawyers is growing exponentially every few years.

    The numbers of lawyers vs. real lawyer jobs is so bad that even for those with superb records, losing a job can mean years of job instability or unemployment, exactly as Old Guy is describing. Losing your big law job can keep you out of full-time permanent work as a lawyer for a decade or more in this market. You cannot do anything else with a law degree while looking for that job, leave aside temporary work as a lawyer, if you are lucky, or a job a high school student could do. Your employment options are limited post-big law because you do not have the necessary experience for most other jobs. There are hordes of applicants who do have the necessary experience for most good jobs requiring a college degree.

    To sum it up, law is a poor choice for most people. Those who are in it are mostly stuck, but those who can still choose really need to educate themselves before taking the plunge.

    1. IME the oversupply is so bad that even doc review is competitive. With the universal derision doc review gets you'd think the agencies would be desperate to get doc reviewers. But that's not the case at all, they have a good 10 candidates for every available seat, and they know it. It doesn't matter how professional you are, how flexible and accommodating you are, how positive an attitude you take and how "well" you do the work, you have to hope an agency likes you and remains liking you in order to have any decent placements. Of course the lower you're willing to go in how badly you're treated the more "options" you might have, but at what mental and emotional cost?

      It is hilarious to me, but doc review is considered a good outcome for many people. The alternative frequently appears to be working retail or driving Uber.

      What other field is this way? I fully agree it's the vast oversupply, which the ABA and state bars absolutely refuse to control in any way.

      The medical profession purposely shoots for shortfalls, in order to drive up salaries and keep the prestige of the profession. The ABA and state bars counter by demanding attorneys provide free services and donate money to people, because they outright refuse to actually control the number of graduates and practicing attorneys.

      Again, no other professional field has this absurd imbalance. Any other profession that operates this way is mocked and laughed at. But I suppose the ABA's marketing is successful and at least the top level attorneys have "prestige".

      There is a mental burden long after your student loans are paid off to not have a secure income, as well as to not be valued and treated well. Most white collar professions become more dignified and give you more and more time off and security as you advance. Not law. In law you are always going to have to hustle and prove yourself, and that gets harder the older you get.

      I have known many older attorneys who are struggling and I know the psychopaths want younger attorneys to simply write those people off as "losers", but the reality is this profession simply has too many "losers" for it to make sense. How can highly educated highly driven people fail at such a high rate unless there is some sort of systemic oversupply and a coverup to hide the issues?

    2. You hit it. The people who make it in law are immune from anxiety and stress. That means they are independently wealthy from birth, are total sociopaths or on a second career with an independent income stream.

      Literally anyone else is suffering and a lot. People see a starting salary of 190k and they don’t understand that means 95k right of the bat because you are “rich” (taxes). After rent in the locales with those salaries, your take home is 65k. After student loans that’s 40k a year. 40k a year to work 80 hours a week, with no retirement, no job security, and permanent unemployment or underemployment with one slip up. Folks, what I just described is the WINNING OUTCOME.

      Meanwhile, the teacher, cop, plumber, etc in the same localities with the big law pay has total job security, is building up a pension and retirement, can invest aggressively (the only way to make real wealth), has no student loans or substantially less student loans and has public support and sympathy.

      It’s a no brainer. But the boomer TV producer is going to portray law like it’s 1955.

  16. How is law any different than any other profession. Dentists and doctors kill themselves at an alarming rate, or burn out early and retire. Lawyers who have made it keep on working until they drop for whatever reason, I know very few lawyers who choose to completely retire, at least not on a full time bases. I know lawyers worth well in excess of 5 million, working into their sixties and seventies. The way society is now, nobody is treated with dignity or decency. That may have happened in the old days, not now. There is no loyalty shown to long term employees anymore. Now businesses are all out for themselves and their executive compensation packages. Employees are overworked and underpaid virtually everywhere these days. The US capitalistic system is failing. Greed and scamming have become predominant. This is not a lawyer unique situation. And sooner or later there will be a reckoning. Welcome to the real world.

  17. Caveat Emptor, Buyer Beware. . . let me ask you this. . .are full time law students actually competing with each other for unpaid internships at law firms and/or government agencies, like, say, their state Attorney General's Office? Is that a reality in 2019? And if it is a reality, what, exactly, do you think that says about those gullible students?

    1. But why do law school professors get to eat the gullible students with my tax dollars, can you explain that to me?

      There are tons of predators out there that eat the naive and stupid, from used car salesmen to real estate brokers, etc. They have to scam with their balls and brains, why do these professors get to do it with federally guaranteed loans.

    2. Everyone knows that buying a used car is just a matter of consumption, and increasingly people understand that that's also true of real estate, for the most part (we're not in the seventies anymore). But it is still widely believed that Ejookayshun™ is an Investment in One's Future®. That's the pretext on which the federal government guarantees student loans for law school.

  18. I agree with you that the Law School Professors, Deans, and administrators are gleefully taking advantage of their students and potential applicants and getting rich by lying to them. . .but some of the blame must also lie upon students and law school applicants who are dumb enough to believe tales of amazing careers for people coming out of law school, when the reality of no jobs at all for many new law graduates should be staring them straight in the face. I know of students who enrolled in sensible majors in college (accounting, nursing, Computer Science) who get part time jobs paying 20 dollars an hour or more, in their fields, after 2-3 years of college. When we live in a nation where some students are already working in their chosen field, and earning good money, after 2-3 years of college, and other students are working for free, often full time during the summer months, with a 4 year college degree and a year or two of law school under their belts, then maybe the reality is simply that these "law students" are very unintelligent young people who are vastly gullible and entirely bereft of common sense. Look, I have been practicing for decades, and I know that a lot of law involves detecting and dealing with other people's dishonesty. Lawyers earn a living because men cheat on their wives, business owners cheat on their taxes, and people flat out steal, lie, and defraud others all the time. Lawyers need to be hyper-aware of that, and prepared to protect their clients from those who would take advantage of them, whether it be a shady unlicensed home improvement contractor, a corrupt politician, a cheating spouse, etc. If these law students are not bright enough to realize that they themselves are victims of a massive scam, and if they are foolish enough to work for free while far less educated people earn 20 bucks or more an hour working in their field, then that says a lot about them, and about what kind of lawyers they may someday become. It also shows why the bar pass rate is low and steeply falling. So yes, law school is a scam, but large scale scams like this if a lot of gullible, unintelligent people fall for them. Has anyone met newly-minted lawyers recently? I have, and I hate to tell you this, but most of them aren't very bright.

  19. FINALLY TJSL IS DEAD As of 12 days ago. I got accepted with a $4k scholarship in Jan. 2013 to their fart-time program. Yeah, I mean PART-time program. Anyhow, I think my undergrad gpa was 2.8 or maybe 2.2. I forgot. My best LSAT score was 147 but it expired long before my accepted score of 145. Only a couple of guys were nice, the rest were bitches and asses. The "competition" really brought that out. Literally happy that Thomas Golden and his fake "golden rules" on contracts is going to be on the unemployment line. But then again, he had white hair back then so maybe he is dead now (hopefully, yeah he was a royal ass). Decent guys like Semararo and Schwabach I hope aren't suffering. The rest of them and staff can all suffer, hard, for all I care. They have certain classes that are intended to cause your GPA to be academically dismissed but they only force you into those if they don't like you. Without those, (especially one in particular where you literally have to type out a page on how a person is a human that breathes and eats food) you could easily graduate. The only thing not surprising here is that the fkrs lasted so long. Good riddance to a toilet trash school. Funny that Yale law school grad Linda Keller was at the helm when it all crashed and burned.