Sunday, March 20, 2022

Law-school scam surges ahead

March 2022 has been a terrible month for the anti-scam movement, and we still have eleven days to go. Four major setbacks have come to our attention here at OTLSS.

The first was the announcement, reported in the previous article, that privately owned Jacksonville University plans to open a law school and has even obtained the required funding from the municipal government.

Soon after that, privately owned High Point University in High Point, North Carolina, announced that it too is going to open a law school, possibly within two years. As if that weren't foolish enough, the university also plans to open a school of optometry, a school of nursing, and a school of entrepreneurship (whatever that means), while spending $400M—about $70k per student—on construction. How it's going to pay for all of that I don't know, but I certainly am not offering to underwrite the loans. But the law school cannot possibly be needed. North Carolina already has six law schools (seven before the Charlotte School of Law went tits up), only one of them possibly worth attending in Old Guy's assessment. All of them are in the north-central part of the state, from Durham to Winston-Salem. One could drive to all six of those law schools in two hours or so. High Point University is only about twenty minutes' drive from two other law schools: Wake Forest, in Winston-Salem, and Elon, in Greensboro. Why the hell should another goddamn law school be built in that area? If it sees the light of day, it will certainly be another über-toilet, with not even accreditation to offer to new students. Like Indiana Tech, it will fold soon enough.

The third setback is the absorption of Law School Transparency into the Law School Admission Council. As the article states, "Law School Transparency was a thorn in the side of law schools when it launched in 2009, criticizing what it said was misleading graduate employment data and calling for changes in how schools report student outcomes". LST did good anti-scam work. Now the LSAC, which coordinates applications to law schools, produces the LSAT, and thus greatly promotes the law-school scam, has taken LST over. In exchange for surrending LST, Kyle McEntee, its director and founder, has been hired as "senior director"—perhaps one should say scamster-in-chief—of the LSAC. Et tu, Brute? 

And recently the LSAC has announced plans to introduce its "Legal Education Program" as an alternative to taking the LSAT. Until the past few years, law schools in the US and Canada (other than some non-English-speaking localities), and even a few in other parts of the world, required the LSAT of all applicants. A few schools introduced the GRE as an alternative, and many others followed suit even though it had not been approved by the American Bar Association (the scam-leading organization in charge of accreditation of law schools in the US). Now the LSAC will let applicants take a couple of years of courses in lieu of writing the LSAT. Billed as "equally valid", this new approach will serve mainly to confuse the data so that it will become impossible to assess student bodies objectively. Whatever its flaws (and Old Guy thinks that they are greatly overstated, mainly by scamsters and people who score poorly on the test), the LSAT provides a consistent measurement of applicants' ability to think logically and to understand English text. A few cotton-candy courses on "the skills necessary for success in law school", "the legal profession and law school experience", and "strong support networks" will not. 

The two proposed über-toilets aren't of great concern: they can be expected to shut down as quickly as they open. But the LSAC's little coups revitalize the law-school scam. Let's hope that they encourage the federal government to curtail access to student loans, without which the scam could not endure.

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Jacksonville loses one über-toilet, will gain another

Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Florida, has announced its intention to open another goddamn law school. Florida Coastal, also located in Jacksonville, survives only to give its last few students another year to finish their studies and collect a Mickey Mouse law degree from the last über-toilet of defunct scam-chain InfiLaw.

As usual, the stated justification is geographic. The mayor of Jacksonville reported that his is the largest city in the US that does not have a law school. (He said nothing about the one that is shutting its doors after having enrollment of almost 4000 students not many years ago. Might it be that Jacksonville just doesn't need a law school?) Of course, he also alluded to the supposedly vast numbers of local people who can't possibly get off their asses and go to any of the twelve law schools that already exist in Florida—such as the U of Florida, only about an hour and twenty minutes away—or for that matter to any of almost two hundred more distant law schools, practically all of which have more to offer than an upstart.

This would-be über-toilet is to be housed "in a downtown office building", rather like Thomas Jefferson School of Law and other whopping failures. Already the city of Jacksonville has pledged $5 million, curiously enough the very amount that the university expects to spend on opening its vanity project. Initially there will be only four professors, not exactly enough to offer Law 'n' Hip-Hop or a range of certificates in Global Leadership—nor even to inspire confidence in the university's commitment to sustaining the dump long enough for the first class to graduate.

Targeted enrollment for the initial class is 20 to 30 students. Within two years the university wants 150 students—whether per class or for the entire school is not clear. Nor is anything said about the important question of costs. Still, Old Guy has seen quite enough to advise resolutely against signing up for three years at an ill-considered über-toilet that may not last that long. Even a horrible shithole like Cooley is marginally better than this big if. Expect another Indiana Tech or worse.