Thursday, June 10, 2021

Toilets Я Us, Part VIII: Florida Coastal, the last InfiLaw über-toilet, is closing down

Break out the Champagne, everyone, for today marks the end of the InfiLaw era of scam-schools: Florida Coastal, InfiLaw's last über-toilet, is closing down.

After losing its access to the federal student-loan gravy train, Florida Coastal (Horrida Coastal) had to submit to the scam-enabling ABA a "teach-out" plan for winding itself up without just dumping the students on the ground (as former InfiLaw scam-school Charlotte did). Finally the ABA has accepted a teach-out plan whereby Florida Coastal will stop teaching courses at the end of the summer. Currently enrolled students will either transfer to other law schools or enroll elsewhere as "transient" students (that makes them sound like vagrants) while still receiving a degree from Florida Coastal, which will provisionally remain accredited until 1 July 2023 just so that it can issue those degrees.

I don't know why anyone would want a degree from an über-toilet that had just been flushed. Transferring would make more sense than enrolling as a "transient" student, but the best choice of all—if available—is to use the closure of the school as an excuse for backing out of one's student loans. 

Which law schools are going to scoop up the jetsam of Florida Coastal? The U of North Dakota welcomed the detritus of InfiLaw franchise Arizona Summit with open arms. Other failing law schools may be eager to snap up a few dozen toileteers. 

The number of law schools closed in the past five years now stands at fourteen:

Cooley (one campus)

Hamline or Mitchell (the two merged)

Indiana Tech





Arizona Summit

Cooley (a second campus)

Thomas Jefferson (relinquished ABA accreditation in favor of state accreditation)

La Verne (relinquished ABA accreditation in favor of state accreditation)


Cooley (a third campus)

Florida Coastal

Which scam-school will be the fifteenth to close? Appalachian, Ohio Northern, Faulkner, Western State, Mississippi College, Golden Gate, District of Columbia, Vermont, Western New England, Charleston, the rump of Cooley, and a number of others seem like prime candidates. Nominate your (least) favorite below.


  1. The most fulfilling thing would be for the last of Cooley to finally pack it in, but I think the most likely candidates are either Western State or Charleston. We know the regulators see the for-profit schools as low-hanging fruit and they are the last two law schools standing with that tax status; all the rest have either closed or converted to nonprofit, the latter being something that is hard to get approved as Florida Coastal experienced.

    Charleston was the subject of an unsuccessful takeover attempt by Infilaw, which largely failed due to outcry from students and board members and skepticism of state legislators who seem to have influenced the regulatory boards at the state level. And it was on a financial viability "watch list" at DOE.

    Western State has changed hands a bunch of times from Argosy to a subsidiary of a megachurch called "Dream Center" and finally to a for-profit college called Westcliff.

    Given the fact that Western State did manage to find a buyer that regulators would approve, but Charleston simply cannot seem to unload itself, not even to Infilaw, I'm overall going to say that Charleston is perhaps the most likely next to go.

    1. Good analysis of Charleston. I haven't checked its financial standing lately, but I do admit that I thought that Western State would be gone in a hurry. What saved it was that sale that somehow ended up being approved.

      I'm more inclined, however, to bet on Appalachian as the next to die. The über-toilet can't have much life left in it. When I investigated it two years ago, its endowment could cover only about two years' operating losses. Last year it drew in only 73 first-year students, and a tenth of the student body gets free or even negative tuition. It's also dominated, apparently, by a local family (the McGlothlins). And it, like Charleston and defunct Valpo, has been unable to unload itself, despite overtures to some unknown college in eastern Tennessee that evidently declined the opportunity to tack on a stinky über-toilet of a law school.

  2. You ought to cover the bloodbath of law school applications where most people are rushing into a surely bad outcome. The legal profession is still glutted and even going to Yale or U Chicago Law in no way assures full-time, permanent employment as a lawyer for the period most people would expect of a career. Sure, there are first year lawyer jobs, but the outcomes of recent graduates are the best outcomes. The outcomes of less recent graduates are poor in many cases, even for those with elite records, but then no one is keeping records on longer-term outcomes of a law degree. Those prospective law students with 172 LSATs and 3.8 GPAs who are piling up rejections from the law schools of their choice are going to be the lucky ones, if they do not go to law school. The people who are accepted at the law schools of their choice, even at the top schools, are going to wish down the road that they had gotten only rejection letters because going to any law school, even a top law school, is a poor choice for a huge slice of people who become lawyers. These applicants purposely blind themselves to the severe lawyer glut. Hey there, law school applicants: You cannot work as a lawyer when you want to, even with an elite record because of the lawyer glut. Most of you are headed for many years of unemployment or underemployment and the frustration of losing jobs and spending years on unpaid job searches because you are not needed. Your 172 LSAT and 3.8 GPA are going to be useless in getting a job as a lawyer after you are out for a few years. You will compete with the herd of people, old and young, good records and not so good, applying to each and every open job and ready to snatch your job, hoping you get fired so the job opens to them. You will not get most of those jobs and will not have a full-time permanent job as a lawyer for most of the time.

    1. Quite so. I have long recommended caution to people considering even the élite law schools. Those are mainly for the wealthy. The anti-scam movement used to say "Yale or fail"; today I say "Don't go to law school". Yale isn't for you unless you have the right pedigree, in which case Cooley might well be enough.

    2. The typical Yalie goes biglaw (or fedclerk followed by biglaw). If you get that, I analogize that outcome to a tightrope: On one end is law school, on the other end is some sweet "forever job" like Fortune 500 inhouse/bigfed/boutique, or in some cases even something like a senate seat or an appointment to the federal bench. The tightrope is biglaw, and underneath that is the pit where most law grads start out (and remain for life, 99% of the time).

      Falling off the tightrope means getting out of biglaw either too early (before the recruiters start calling) or too late (at which point a huge book of business is expected). Once in the pit, I agree you're pretty much just as F'd as everyone else.

      Staying on the tightrope until the right time is hard, because it's brutal hours and culture and sometimes economic forces take you down anyway (e.g. Latham). But at least at HYS the vast majority of the class get the chance to walk that tightrope while the vast majority of grads at normal schools start out in the pit which is full of doc review and insurance defense and other garbage, if not outright unemployment. But if you get to start out on the tightrope, and you make it to the other side, life is still sweet indeed.

      So if someone shows me an acceptance letter from HLS and its ilk, well they'll be the rare exception where I'll say "go for it" on law school. There are no guarantees in life, and it remains very possible still to fall in to "the pit." But again, good a chance as any. They'll likely have to put in some serious hours paying dues in some biglaw sweatshop. But it's as good a chance as someone can get and probably just about the most valuable credential you can acquire short of an MD with a sought-after residency/specialty.

      That said, I wouldn't suggest going even to HLS or whatever if of nontraditional age. Those same biglaw firms are sweatshops and they need to be convinced that you'll bill your 3000 hours per year or whatever obscene number it is; they won't like it if you look to be the age where you might have real responsibilities outside of work.

    3. Those sweet jobs also include law-school scamster, though these days one has to aim high rather than landing at a dipshit über-toilet such as Florida Coastal that is likely to go tits up.

      What you recommend is reasonable. Harvard and Yale offer at least something of a chance to many students, though most will fall for the tightrope (if they ever gain it at all) and find themselves with no net below. I only suggest thinking twice about borrowing money to go to Harvard or Yale. The tightrope is easier to traverse when one doesn't carry $300k or $400k of non-dischargeable student loans at high interest.

      And I emphatically endorse your view that people past their mid-twenties should not attend law school. I made a terrible mistake by going to law school later in life. People of my age are practically never hired, and I've spent years trying to cobble together a half-ass career.

    4. Yes, non-traditional law students should not exist. Legal employers discriminate against older law students, and by older I mean anyone older than 28. I attended law school from age 32-35 and it was a catastrophic mistake.

  3. Well, OG, I'm with you on your analysis of Appalachian but I see it as a race between them and Ohio Northern. Both have enrollments that have shrunk to unsustainable levels, far below any of your other listed candidates.

    What makes this race to the bottom interesting is that App. is an indy while ONU is affiliated with a university with a respectable $160M endowment. Unlike, say, Whittier and WNEU, ONU law school is no 1970's money grab. Like Valpo law it has roots in the nineteenth century.

    Years ago I figured the indies, save for those who could get a university to absorb them, would go before the marginal university law schools but it hasn't entirely worked out that way. On your list of 14 if you take out the for-profits which were hardwired to fail and count Cooley as one school the university schools are ahead. My present theory is that as these marginal schools begin demanding money from the parent instead of paying the "tax" the trustees soon weary of bleeding their endowments white to keep their law schools on life support. The folks at the remaining indies know the retirement package dies when the job dies and can be expected to eat a lot of shit to keep their sinecures. How many VLS faculty walked out when their tenure was revoked?

    So in the end I see the question as whether Appalachian will run out of gas before ONU's Board of Trustees pulls the plug.

    1. Those are good points. Ohio Northern is indeed unsustainably small, with only 59 first-year lemmings in 2020 (the highest number in the past five years). Two years ago I estimated here that 75 student per class is close to the lower limit of sustainability. That being so, Ohio Northern is draining the parent institution's endowment—especially because more than two-thirds of the students get discounts in excess of 50% (and some are even paid—bribed—to attend).

      A parent university tends to regard its law school as a cash cow that subsidizes other operations. When a Whittier or an Indiana Tech not only fails to pay tribute but even bleeds the university of its endowment, it is likely to be shut down. Even the U of Minnesota has been heavily subsidizing its faux-prestigious law school for years, to the point that tongues are wagging and people are wondering whether the law school shouldn't be given the axe. That's a legitimate question. Although I don't propose to answer it, I can see a couple of options: 1) merge the region's various state and other law schools into a single one (not necessarily based at the U of Minnesota); 2) just shut the damn thing down.

      Appalling Appalachian appears to have run out of money, so it can be expected to shut up shop soon. Ohio Northern could be sustained for many years, but will the parent institution want to keep a parasitic über-toilet?

    2. Plenty of trashcan law schools are attached to small private universities with serious financial problems. Faulkner I think would qualify. I don't know exactly which, or in what order, but a solid 20 law schools are now doomed over the next 2-3 years.

  4. Over a year ago I posted about law schools that were attached to schools given a C- or D on Forbes' 2019 private college financial health ratings. The 2020 rankings have now been up on line for some time. Definitely worth a look.

    1. Yes but see OG's post above: If the parent university is subsidizing the law school then even if the parent is in great financial health they'll be looking to cut the law school loose. And if the law school is subsidizing the parent then even if the parent isn't doing so hot they'll be fighting hard to keep it going. So data on parent financial health can lead to counterintuitive results.

      Looking at a law school separately, I think there are three main and one arguable criteria for likely closure assuming there's not already DOE or ABA action in the works:

      1. It is for-profit (there's only two of those left); AND/OR

      2. It has NO university affiliation (like Vermont or NYLS) or a very loose one consisting of little more than the right to use the name (like Cooley/WMU before they initiated the disaffiliation process); AND/OR

      3. Too much "merit aid" AKA tuition-discounting masquerading as scholarships. If a significant percentage of the class is going for free or even being paid to go (AKA negative tuition) then the school is likely operating at a loss and this cannot go on forever. Conversely, an indicator of a healthy law school would be if it gives out most or all of its aid on a need basis regardless of LSAT score. The more merit aid the worse the school is doing, the more purely need-based aid the better, basically.

      4. Arguable 4th criteria: How long has the school been in existence? A CHARTER member of the Association of American Law Schools would've been founded in the late 19th or early 20th century and is highly unlikely to close, for example, whereas a school founded in the 70s-90s has no tradition keeping it going to speak of.

    2. "Merit aid" is a euphemism for the purchasing of LSAT scores by which to manipulate the idiotic "rankings" of You Ass News. As you said, it is a good indicator of desperate über-toiletry.

      The fourth criterion is weak. Quite a few horrors, including Ohio Northern and the defunct Valpo, go back to the nineteenth century.

    3. Yeah that's why I marked 4 as arguable; it's somewhat predictive but exceptions can certainly be found. Put it on because psychology and ego cannot always be discounted. No one wants to be the captain of a ship that, after sailing for 100 years, is run aground under their watch. But if you just built a jalopy a few years ago to get some student loan cash and found out it wasn't as profitable as expected, if anything you'd get a high five for successfully navigating a divestiture.

  5. Jokes on you Old Guy. As Robert Illig from Oregon pointed out several years ago, law professors and deans gave “up a chance at a seven-figure annual income” to teach ungrateful law students, and that sacrifice “is charity enough.” The Florida Coastal profs and deans will just go back to big law and rake in a cool million dollars a year.

    1. Yes, indeed, in a mahogany-paneled corner office in some skyscraper dedicated to such vitally coveted specialties as Law 'n' Hip-Hop and Intersectional Narratives of the Open Road.

    2. lol I've always loved this one. Yeah most law profs typically HAD the top-school credentials for the big bucks at one time, but most go straight from federal clerkships to academia and have never practiced, so years later biglaw is not going to remain interested.

      They may once have had a ticket on that boat, but it has long since sailed and they're not going to get another one.

    3. Here's how we covered Illig's let-them-eat-cake rant in 2014:

    4. "The Florida Coastal profs and deans will just go back to big law and rake in a cool million dollars a year." Have you considered stand-up comedy?

  6. Just be reissured that ASL is "rethinking law school."

    Except that this rethinking involves every graduate mired in crippling, unpayable debt and very limited job prospects just so a few connected politicians can cash in more at the end of their "public service."

  7. As much as all the schools listed deserve to fail and close immediately, 2021 brought a surge in law school applications. As of 6/14/21(per LSAC),
    "As compared to one year ago, current year applicants are up
    16.7%. As compared to two years ago, current year applicants
    are up 14.8%." and
    "As compared to one year ago, current year applications are up
    29.4%. As compared to two years ago, current year
    are up 27.1%."

    Which raises the question: will COVID save the TTTTs, at least for the next few years?

    1. Hard to say. Could be a temporary bump given the always-countercyclical nature of law school applicant volume. But there are some permanent changes making it easier to apply: Not only does online LSAT appear to now be permanent, about a third of law schools all up and down the rankings are accepting the GRE which makes it easier to siphon off people originally interested in something else.

      I can imagine the carnival barker now:

      No prerequisites! Your BA can be in anything from anywhere and we don't care what classes you took! Oh and now you don't even have to sign up for another test since you already took the GRE. So just apply. If a law school accepts you (and I guarantee someone will), you can get loans that'll pay your rent for three years too! That's a full year longer than whatever masters you were considering! And don't worry about the debt or the interest rate, because thanks to IBR you don't really even have to pay it back! Oh, and did I mention there's only one test per class per semester and no homework? Pick the profs who don't cold-call and you don't even have to show up til the final, which you can prepare for with canned outlines you can buy cheap online!

      It's a compelling pitch if you don't know what the heck else to do with yourself, and notably absolutely none of it requires any actual interest in being a lawyer.

    2. That is an excellent post. 3 more years where you can take an all-expenses paid vacation, financed by "loans" you will never repay. I know a guy who did that, and spent 3 years in warm sunny Florida. He had a blast. He called it law school, but didn't even bother studying for, or sitting for, the Bar Exam the summer after he graduated, he just spent a few more months living large in Florida, until coming home, moving back in with his parents (of course) and getting a job working in a warehouse. 4Y of college and 3Y of law school, all expenses paid by "student loans" he had one heck of a good time, it really beats working!

    3. There is a great youtube channel called College Viability, about the ongoing financial struggles of colleges. Higher Ed is in serious financial trouble, and some of the country's worst law schools are attached to garbage can universities that are deep in the red themselves.

      One could call this resentful, but I had to lie and conceal my legal education in order to catch a decent job. I couldn't get job interviews if they knew I had a JD. This rammed home the fact that a JD is not an accomplishment. I had to put up with idiot HR recruiters asking canned questions, and then deciding I wasn't a good fit. I want these schools to close.

    4. Well, 10:28, you had to do what you had to do. I too wrote a dumbed-down résumé (though I ended up not using it), omitting all academic honors, all foreign languages, all experience outside the field of law, all references to clerkships and law reviews and other things that are likely to scream pointy-headed intellectual.

    5. @June 14 0:56AM- would you happen to be the great Onehell from the late, lamented JDUnderground?

      Onehell was a very insightful fellow who posited the very apt tightrope analogy about 4-5 years ago.

      I truly miss JDU. Some of it was junk but 85% of it consisted of smart people discussing law, legal careers, politics, history, economics, pop culture, sports, religion. And with only light moderation for profanity and personal attacks.

    6. @Tyler: June 14 here. Yep, I did indeed used to post under that name on JDU. I miss that board.

      @10:28: Out of curiosity, how did you go about removing the JD? I mean, once you remove it you have a resume gap of at least three years, or longer if you tried to or did practice. What do you say you were up to during that time?

    7. @11:57 Law school became "attended graduate school" and work became "Temp Agency Placements." Technically true.

    8. "Onehell was a very insightful fellow who posited the very apt tightrope analogy about 4-5 years ago."

      I was curious, can someone repost that "tightrope analogy" or paraphrase it?

    9. Tightrope analogy is above, but it's basically based on how biglaw works. They hire in "classes" out of 2L OCI and from there you're on the tightrope and it's "up or out." And since the vast majority won't make partner, that means out, i.e. your goal is to get off the tightrope to stuff like an inhouse, government, or boutique firm job, which of course requires making it across the tightrope and stepping off at the right place and time.

      There's a "sweet spot" to do this, a point where you have just the right amount of experience: Not too little, not too much. That's when the recruiters start calling. If you don't stay long enough to reach this point, or if you stay too long stuck at the midpoint of the tightrope and now you're an 8th year associate or "non equity partner" with no book of business, well now you have no exit so falling off the tightrope is inevitable. Falling off the tightrope means falling into the pit where you'll have the same (lack of) opportunity as people who never got biglaw in the first place.

      The tightrope analogy is meant to illustrate how biglaw, though a good outcome, is a fragile state of success and it isn't the ultimate goal. True success is at the other end of the tightrope. The tightrope is narrow reflecting how few students get to walk it at all, and how once on it, getting successfully to the other side is going to entail a lot of brutal hours and late nights, and you still might get blown off by a gust of wind.

    10. Of course, many graduates of élite law schools never get onto the tightrope of Big Law at all, and those from mediocre or worse law schools—easily 90% of the total—have little chance of setting foot inside a white-shoe law firm.

      Those big firms are all about money. If you can't bring in many hundreds of thousands (and more usually millions) of dollars of work per year, you won't last long. Ability as a lawyer counts for nothing; what matters is ability to bring in business. And most people simply don't have it. For the most part, it's a question of connections down at the yacht club, which typically come from an aristocratic pedigree.

      Yes, a few well-placed people will become partner at some big law firm. The rest will be out within a few years, with nowhere else to go—if they get in at all. The great majority of graduates will be lucky to get into small-time shit law, which isn't viable financially—especially with hundreds of thousands of dollars of non-dischargeable student loans bearing high interest.

    11. I'll quibble with you slightly, OG. The vast, vast majority of law school grads will never step foot in a white shoe firm. But those they do hire, it's mostly all about the prestige of the school and class rank, and the more elite the school the lower they'll go in the class until ultimately you get to Harvard or Yale where the majority of grads can get a biglaw gig if they want it. It doesn't necessarily need yacht club pedigree.

      They are indeed all about the money, that's why being an associate is all about billing ab obscene number of hours, which brings in several multiples of your salary. But you're a relatively well-compensated cog at that point; Harvard pedigree is great to put on their website and that plus the ability to bill 3000 hours per year is all they need, not necessarily an elite family tree.

      Where the yacht club pedigree does come into play is on the issue of whether you make partner, which is indeed about rainmaking. But again, the "exit opportunities" from biglaw are good, IF you exit at the sweet spot. Fortune 500 in-house gigs for example are one of the normal ones for normal people who don't have elite connections but did get a 175 LSAT so they have a top JD and therefore biglaw experience.

      However, if you don't make your hours as an associate (regardless of whether that's your fault or a matter of them just not having enough work to give you) you can find yourself exited too early for those exit opportunities to be interested. Or you can hang around too long at which point they will also lose interest. That's when biglaw spits you out right back to the same insurance defense gulags as the lower tier grads, if you're lucky enough to find anything at all. But it shouldn't be denied: IF you're among the FEW who get the chance to work biglaw at all, AND you leave at the right time, it's a good life.

    12. We seem to be in broad agreement. The yacht-club pedigree is what turns one of those associates into a partner. Without it, they couldn't expect to bring in heaps of business.

      But pedigree also has much to do with who studies law at Harvard and Yale. These places are peopled with little rich kids. Now and then an Old Guy gets in, but in the main those law schools are very tony places. And Big Law isn't interested in people like Old Guy. Nor is Small Law, for that matter.

      You're right about the availability of soft landings for those cogs in the Big Law machinery who stay around long enough. But plenty of people, as you said, find themselves out on their asses well before they can get those cushy spots—or some time afterwards.

  8. @10:28 One of the main reasons I got an MBA at a later age was for leaving the JD off the resume. A lot of jobs still want to see a post graduate degree on the resume, but as you pointed out the JD is not the one they want to see. Most people who know I have a JD thought I was just trying to pile on degrees, but that was furthest from the truth. The strategy still didn't work. I am no more employable than before, but I don't think I can regret it because the strategy was sound.

    1. I don't know that there is a sound strategy, since all but the top MBA programs can be pretty scammy too. Not faulting you for trying, but I don't know that there are any truly "in demand" degrees anymore outside of healthcare and some engineering/computer type fields (though the latter is vulnerable to outsourcing/H1-B and suffers from various forms of rampant discrimination against women, older people etc).

      Outside of those two fields, it's all about the prestige of the institution granting the credential as opposed to the actual knowledge acquired, unless you know the right people to call in favors for you in which case they may need you to have degrees but won't care much about prestige of school because they're just trying to maintain a meritocratic illusion.

    2. Did you feel it really helped to leave the JD off your resume? As a 2009 graduate of an uber toilet I am strongly considering the idea. Seems like any employer that sees it on my resume runs. Going to a tier four law school was clearly a terrible idea but I didn't get it back in 2006 straight out of undergrad. The uber toilets should all be shut down effective immediately and not destroy any more lives.

    3. I agree that few degrees nowadays are in demand. Health care is the main area in which an aspiring lad or lass o' pairts can still get ahead. Engineering and computers? Think again. Much of this sort of work has been outsourced for 25 years or more. And I shouldn't be a bit surprised if outsourcing cut deeply into medicine as well. Now that so many medical consultations occur via telephone or videoconference, what's to stop the corporate medical racket from setting them up with physicians in Bangladesh?

      And, yes, I fully agree that the Harvards and the Yales are about prestige. Yes, they have somewhat more varied academic offerings. Yes, the level of discourse there will sometimes be a bit more intelligent than at the U of East Bumblefuck. But forget all that. Degrees are just a contest in credentialism, not an exercise in substance. Harvard is about prestige-whoring, nothing but. That's why the rich dumbbutts flock to the Harvards.

      Trade school is what Old Guy recommends. At least plumbing and HVAC work cannot be outsourced right now or replaced with software.

    4. @12:10 this is 10:28. I don't know if it helped, I didn't really fully implement it. For the job that I have now and the one before I included the law degree but I was hired based on my experience and despite the law degree not because of it. Before that it wasn't an issue I was in a long term position for many years and not looking for employment. I was googling about the ethics of omitting a degree and one opinion was that it is okay for the resume, since not related to the position sought, but not for the online application which is supposed to be a full accounting of your background. And of course, at the interview they are usually looking at your resume and not the online application. The job I have now might be the last before retirement, but if not, I will be including the JD on both the resume and application. One way you can de-emphasize it is to put your education at the bottom of the resume. Also listing the JD below the BS might help. Also maybe use the abbreviation JD rather than Juris Doctor. I don't know if any of this makes much difference but in my mind it might by making it seem less important or noticeable.

      So, while I believe the law degree is damaging for getting non-legal positions I'm not sure to what degree. Sometimes, the fault lies not in the stars but in ourselves.

    5. This is 5:40 @ 10:28 again with the JD/MBA. I just wanted to add that another reason I would like to leave the law degree off is not just because I think it hurts my chances of getting hired, but because I just really don't want to talk about it anymore. I don't want to get hired and be the guy in accounting who is also 'the lawyer'. I don't want people coming over to my desk with legal questions. If you are in good standing and your reason is just to keep the information private and not because of some disciplinary reason, I don't see why it is unethical just to want to be left alone.

  9. I had been accepted at a top 2 B School for right after college, years ago. I turned it down and got the JD at another top school and became an expert in an area of the law that declined precipitously in work. Worse yet, the law firms where I worked uniformly would not let me expand my area of practice. Years later, I applied to an MBA program at a top 10 school near my home, hoping to expand my areas of expertise, and was rejected. I think the admissions office did me a favor because as an older person with many years of work experience as a lawyer, I would not have had the same opportunities as might have been available to me as an MBA from a top school in my early 20s.