Friday, August 12, 2022

Jacksonville: Newest über-toilet attracts only 14 students

One might think that the closure of fourteen law schools in the past six years would deter prospective scamsters. Jacksonville, Florida, would seem an especially unlikely place for a new über-toilet, since the stench of recently shuttered Florida Coastal, which once brought in classes in excess of a thousand students, still hovers mephitically over the city. 

Alas! one would be wrong. The Jacksonville University College of Law opened on Wednesday with an inaugural class of 14 students. Scam-dean Nicholas Allard, who had hoped for 15–20 students and had imposed a ridiculous "cap" of 30, claims to be proceeding "in a very methodical, brick-by-brick fashion". Well, so did Indiana Tech (apart from the astounding expenditure on a curated art collection from the first day), which nonetheless dried up and blew away within four years—in one of those years not collecting a single cent in tuition, for it tried to give itself away by offering zero tuition to everyone but still got only 15 takers. 

Über-toilet Jacksonville charges $36k per year in tuition. Suppose that it didn't give a single discount ("scholarship") and that it will fully collect tuition from all students but will not receive other income (so, for instance, no profitable sales of highly coveted Jacksonville sweatshirts). That's $500k in revenue. With ten scam-professors to pay, not to mention support staff, payroll alone will suck up all of revenue and much more. I'm well aware that few lawyers, and still fewer law-school scamsters, could perform arithmetic of this sort if their lives depended on it; but it doesn't take much intelligence—admittedly a lot more than one can expect from either the students or the faculty of this dump—to discern that erecting this edifice brick by brick while posting large losses is going to cost the parent institution a pretty penny. 

And ten professors for fourteen students? Why not throw in four more and offer full-time private tutoring? They're building it brick by brick, so they say, yet they front-load it with a bloated faculty. They could have started with two or maybe three professors for their tiny cohort, but they had to hire ten. Well, at least they included Scott DeVito, whose recent experience as scam-dean of Florida Coastal will come in handy when his new über-toilet likewise has to be wound up.

Indiana Tech offered to its handful of students such luxuries as four—four!—certificates in Global Leadership™ (a Fort Wayne specialty) and absurd courses such as Hip-Hop and the US Constitution. Old Guy would consider those frivolous at best, idiotic at worst if they were found at a serious law school like Harvard; at vacant Indiana Tech, they stood as monuments to the hauteur and self-importance of the scamsters who bled the parent university for their short-lived vanity project. Whatever can be said for the fifteen to thirty-odd dolts a year who signed up at Indiana Tech, they could ill afford to pose as the global leaders of tomorrow or listen to André Douglas "Dougie Fresh" "Pond Scum" Pond Cummings prate endlessly about hip-hop.

If Jacksonville University wants to be raped of its endowment for the sake of this flash in the pan, Old Guy certainly cannot stand in the way. He will only point out that opening in "the largest U.S. city without a law school" does not guarantee success. In Fort Wayne or Shreveport, in Anchorage or Murfreesboro, there is only so much demand from local people who want to go to law school but cannot move or commute a couple of hours away to attend a toilet school that at least has the significant advantages of an image (however shitty) and ABA accreditation. Very few people from other places will matriculate at Jacksonville, and those who do will probably be desperate for a visa or else will be bought off with free tuition—something that won't contribute to the über-toilet's coffers. Already Florida Coastal could not sustain itself even with a twentieth of its peak entering class in supposedly thriving Jacksonville, so why should an upstart in the same city do better? 

When will Jacksonville shut up shop? Difficult to say. That depends on the willingness of the parent university to inject cash. Old Guy would never have let it get past the bullshit "feasibility study" that must have been cobbled together, but maybe Jacksonville University is prepared to throw a lot of good money after bad. In the meantime, scamsters are about to pull the same stunt in North Carolina and West Virginia, and a foul über-toilet in Louisiana that draws its so-called students primarily from the low 140s on the LSAT is pretending to operate a branch in Shreveport. And the general public, saddled with federally guaranteed student loans that will never be repaid, will end up footing the bill.


39 comments:

  1. It says " All applicants are considered for up to $14,400 in merit scholarships" https://www.ju.edu/law/ with only 14 students I wonder what the LSAT range they got is?

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  2. https://www.ju.edu/law/staff.php

    Maybe Allard is a misspelling of All Lard.

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  3. Old guy, we need to create a new level of toilet, one even lower than uber-toilet. The deluded souls that attend this “place” probably cannot put their own socks on, much less understand torts and con law. Where’s Nando when we need him?

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  4. Their website says that their "highest priority" is to obtain ABA accreditation by the time the 1st class graduates, a process they will begin in Spring 2023.

    As far as I know, Florida is NOT one of the states that allows schools to be state-only certified. So this is an even bigger risk than someone who goes to a new law school in CA or whatever. At least there, the school can always go state-only if they can't manage ABA and their kids would be able to at least take the bar. Not so in FL, it seems.

    So put completely aside the issue of no jobs. These kids can't even try and hang a shingle if the school can't get accredited in time. That's a huge risk to take, even beyond the huge risk that a crappy JD normally represents.

    This school shouldn't charge anything at all unless and until its students can at least theoretically become lawyers.

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  5. Well, the scam rolls on, with this being the only surviving scam blog. And while it's good that several schools have closed, the opening of this one(and University of North Texas-which apparently is now fully accredited), with several others apparently in the works, make it appear that the scam is just a very expensive game(for the taxpayers) of legal Whack-a-Mole. One school closes, and another opens. Forget crypto, forget gold, forget real estate-the one investment that always pays is opening a law school. Well, not for the taxpayers.

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    1. At least the for profits are basically dead

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    2. I think what we may start to see is that law school enrollment is economically counter-cyclical. Economy has been good for a long time, so people weren't enrolling because they had options, and schools were closing. But now we're headed for possible recession.

      One thing people do in bad economies is take refuge from the real world in graduate school, and law school is perfectly positioned to take advantage of that. There are no prerequisite undergrad classes to take, a plethora of schools to choose from, and an image of practicality that makes parents happy. Contrast that with, say, medical school. So many prereqs that just to apply you'd practically have to go back and do undergrad all over again if you were a liberal artist in college. And even if you did that, you'd have maybe a 50/50 shot at best of actually getting in anywhere.

      But with law? Just sign up for the LSAT, go wherever your score tells you you can get in, and sign up for a bunch of student loans that pay not just your tuition but also your entire cost of living for THREE YEARS. The worse the economy gets, the more interest there may be in taking that deal. And the more interest there is and that deal, the more we might see interest reemerge in opening up more crappy law schools.

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    3. Yes, odious _UNT (fill in the blank as you will) is now accredited by the rotten ABA.

      Law school no longer requires even the LSAT. Just get out a crayon, scribble a bit on an application form, and you're in.

      Technically, the cost of living is covered for only nine months of the year. But indeed any knuckle-dragging jackanapes should be able to get into a law skule somewhere and stick the public with the monstrous cost.

      Maybe we should open an OTLSS brand of law skules and get in on the take.

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    4. To your point about 9 months, I'll note that the student budgets (and thus what you're allowed to borrow) are estimated pretty generously. Live with roommates and you can totally stretch 9 to 12.

      Between that and the fact that you can put your loans on IBR after you graduate and potentially pay back little to none of them if your employment outcomes aren't good, and the dictionary definition of "moral hazard" should probably just say "see law school." lol.

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  6. Old Guy: "Law school no longer requires even the LSAT. Just get out a crayon, scribble a bit on an application form, and you're in."


    I anxiously anticipate the moment when I stumble across some sickeningly sentimental news piece about a kid with intellectual disability (formerly called mental retardation) defies the odds and gets accepted into law school.

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    1. Well, Indiana Tech raffled off a "scholarship" to the general public. Conceivably it could have gone to someone who couldn't mark an X to endorse the checks for student loans. Hell, a member of the faculty there boasted that she never read books. Presumably she forswore them after struggling with the intricacies of Green Eggs and Ham.

      You must have heard of those diploma mills that have issued academic credentials to dogs and cats. I wonder when an ABA-accredited toilet will confer the JD upon a similarly accomplished quadruped.

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    2. By the way, the least that could be said for the LSAT, when it was universally required, is that it restricted the JD to the species Homo sapiens. It was administered under controlled conditions that included verification of ID. One rather suspects that a gazelle or a parakeet showing up with half a dozen pencils and a granola bar would have attracted scrutiny from the proctors.

      Indeed, a certain pons asinorum threatened to exclude many of the younger humans. A statement about not compromising the integrity had to be copied out in the examinee's cursive handwriting. That requirement posed no obstacle whatsoever to Old Guy, who has been writing an elegant hand since childhood. In that ancient day (somewhere between the last Ice Age and the Congress of Vienna), only cursive was acceptable in school. But many people of somewhat later vintage never learned to write cursive, and a lot of them cannot read it either (Old Guy hears "I can't read a word of that" increasingly often even when he writes as impeccably as a schoolmarm). No matter: the proctor went around the room and barked "Erase that and write it in cursive!" Those who didn't know how to write in cursive must have found a way, because there was no arguing back.

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  7. Indiana Tech's faculty fought hard to increase admissions standards. the problem was the university and its board of trustees, who had no idea how to operate a law school.

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    1. Did the faculty fight hard to raise standards? "Dougie Fresh" Pond Scum declared 143 a "serviceable" LSAT score. Alexander, dean of the dump until he was cashiered at the end of its first year, got a last-minute applicant and announced during an interview "We'll take him", obviously without having given the application so much as a glance. If there were any standards at all, Old Guy hasn't seen the evidence.

      Maybe you mean that the rank and file, rather than the Pond Scums and the Lamparellos, were trying to raise the bar. Perhaps. I can readily imagine that the people stuck with the thankless job of teaching Indiana Tech's brainless centurions, rather than writing whorish memoirs or offering "Hip-Hop and the US Constitution", were disheartened by the shoddiness of their charges. But there was no hope of drawing in good students when Indiana Tech couldn't even fill its class with bad ones. Even by bribing an entire class with free tuition, Indiana Tech managed to attract only 15 students. Don't expect that it ate into the market of Michigan or Chicago.

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    2. Apparently JU wouldn't take anyone with an LSAT below 153 hence the small class size

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    3. Where did you learn of the floor of 153? Interesting that an upstart über-toilet would try that rather than taking the usual approach of whoring after everything with access to student loans. You're right: it condemns the school to a tiny size, because there just aren't many people with mediocre LSAT scores (I would call 153 low, but let's be generous for the moment) who will want to attend an unaccredited question mark of a law school that may well prove to be the latest Indiana Tech—especially after its predecessor in the same region closed its doors. And a tiny law school will be unattractive, despite its attempts to cast its size (or lack thereof) in a positive light. Maybe a tiny law school is more personal in that everyone simply has to know everyone when the entire class can fit into a Volkswagen if not a telephone booth. But it cannot offer a range of courses (presumably everyone will have to take the same ones), it will remain unknown even in its region (to say nothing of more distant places), it will disfavor its graduates in the department of employment, and it will remain precarious because its inability to enjoy economies of scale will render it costly to maintain. All of these facts will discourage anyone with any sense from attending.

      Indiana Tech committed the classic mistake of spending money before establishing itself. It even boasted—from its first day—of being the second law school in the US to have a curated art collection. Anyone with a brain (yes, admittedly this excludes most of the faculty and all of the administration) should have considered that a new law school of questionable potential had better ways to spend its limited money than by hiring a curator for whatever works of art it allegedly had. And with scarcely more than 30 students in its largest class, Indiana Tech could ill afford such stupid frivolities as "Hip-Hop and the US Constitution" and four certificates in "Global Leadership" (along with the range of courses that that implied, all of them taught by people whose expertise in the area would seem doubtful at best).

      If the Jackassville University College of Law avoids squandering the parent institution's endowment quite so profligately as its avatar in Fort Wayne, maybe it can last for a year or two. It will only ever be a bare-bones establishment with a substantially uniform curriculum (everyone in more or less the same courses) and no reputation. Unless a sugar daddy somewhere is prepared to subsidize it forever, it cannot last long, even in much-reduced form.

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    4. I can't remember where, but I do remember reading some study that basically found scores of 153 and up were at low risk for failing the bar. Probably true. That score is average, but it's average for an above-average group that is capable of finishing college and takes the LSAT, which is probably a standard deviation or so above a "true average" level of intelligence.

      I know a 153 may not seem that smart, but remember that a TRULY average person (measured from the entire general population and not the subset that finishes college or the subset of that subset that goes to grad school) is really, really dumb. Most people still aren't capable of finishing even today's dumbed down undergrad curriculum.

      That's what's sad about these low to mid 150s that go to law school. They probably can pass the bar. But they won't likely get a good job in law and they are smart enough that there's other better things they prolly could've done, but which the JD will often pigeon hole them out of consideration for.

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    5. Chatted up one of the students at a bar lol! The student in question is basically getting a really cheap JD out of it since it's likely this thing will be provisionally approved at least

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  8. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2022/09/06/struggling-law-school-seeks-reinvent-itself

    These kind of articles really paper over the problem. I was in Vermont for a wedding, and stopped by this law school out of curiosity. Quite an idyllic place. But a fool’s errand, even if one can attend with no tuition. Vermont is a small economy, and many lawyers (from an internet search) come from this school. The article states that 129 students matriculated. Assume 110 graduate. I would guess that this state of 600,000 likely only can absorb no more than 10 new legal positions each year, if that. Burlington only has 42,000 people! It would be good to know the facts on the ground. But whatever the facts, I just don’t see how this school makes sense - and the addition of grad programs makes the situation worse for students, not better. The degree can’t travel well out of state either. No need for grad school to get a paralegal position.

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    1. Old Guy too stopped by Vermont Law School years ago while passing through that part of Vermont. Idyllic it may be, in that it's in the middle of nowhere. Right across the street, when Old Guy was there, was a gas station with a handwritten sign in the window about maple-tapping buckets for sale. The nearest grocery store was half an hour's drive away—in Lebanon, New Hampshire. There appeared to be more cows than people in South Royalton.

      Old Guy completely agrees that nobody, but nobody, should go to Vermont Law School, an über-toilet that has tried to distinguish itself by claiming to specialize in the phony field of "environmental law". Don't believe the hype: it's a dreadful, bottom-fishing über-toilet whose reputation barely extends beyond the Upper Connecticut River.

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    2. A new Master's offering in Restorative Justice?? I couldn't stop laughing!

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    3. lol. My understanding of "restorative justice" is basically that the victim and the offender meet each other, the offender apologizes, and the victim "forgives" them after getting some kind of closure from that meeting or series of meetings.

      How you make that into an entire masters idk.

      Plus I don't like the word "forgiveness" in this context. You'll see a lot of murderers who get sentenced to life without parole or whatever and the families of the victim say they "forgive" the offender. What they really mean, of course, is that they're going to move on with their lives and not fixate on revenge or hatred. That's healthy, but it's not forgiveness in the sense that they'll be advocating for the person's release or would go to dinner with 'em if they could.

      It just means you're making a decision not to allow hatred for the offender to consume your life. That's healthy, but it really doesn't have much to do with "forgiveness" at all.

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    4. I dropped out of LS after a year and became a teacher (glad I did). "Restorative Justice" is being brought into schools as a way reduce student suspensions by bringing the victim and offender together to find some type of resolution. I don't see this trend generating billable for lawyers or providing employment for master's grads. What a waste.

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    5. Have a sit-down with the bullying lunatic who's terrorizing you, so some wannabe social worker can feel good about yourself...... that's "empathy" in today's world.....

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  9. Now known as "Vermont Law and Graduate School" reflecting their new strategy of expanded offerings. In their quest to remain the last independent law school standing.

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    1. They're clearly trying to succeed in that quest by filling a niche, namely by being the most left wing school for things like environmental causes and now broadening out into social justice more generally. Like how Liberty University has a (terrible) ABA accredited law school, just on the opposite end of the political spectrum. VLS is the Liberty Law of the left.

      The irony is that places like Liberty actually do have some success getting their kids jobs in right wing politics and the like, because when the GOP is in power they will often take ideology even over prestige. The left makes no such exception, and probably doesn't need to since there's plenty of social justice oriented courses and people are Harvard and Yale etc.

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  10. How do I send dybbuk an email? Thank you.

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    1. Sorry, we don't give out our e-mail addresses.

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  11. On another note. A lot of lawyers are pushing average folks to set up trusts. Is this just another scam for lawyers to create business? Do that many people actually need trusts, or would a will do just as well?

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    1. I certainly would not push anyone to set a trust up. Trusts are expensive and do not meet everyone's needs.

      When lawyers push people of ordinary means to set up a trust, suspect a scam.

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    2. Agreed. What most people can do is put "pay on death" designations on their accounts, ladybird deeds on their homes, and make sure their insurance beneficiaries are named and kept up to date.

      Everything else is usually miscellaneous/sentimental value which can usually be given away inter vivos or put in a will that qualifies for "small estate" procedures that greatly reduce or eliminate the complexities of probate. Also buy good long term care insurance to protect assets from "estate recovery" in case you need to ever go into a nursing home.

      Trusts are a way of helping your heirs avoid probate, assuming the trustee is trustworthy anyway. So it's not a scam in a literal sense. But for most people, there are easier and less costly ways to do that.

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  12. https://sfyimby.com/2022/09/facade-installation-starts-for-198-mcallister-street-san-francisco.html

    Look at this, nine figure bonds and massive construction for a fourth tier law school in the most or second most expensive city in the country. Tons of amenities and state of the art fake court rooms to produce top lawyers!

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    1. Good lord. Always loved those fake courtrooms by the way. So much nicer than the actual courtrooms in which most law grads will appear.

      Part of the whole general funniness of how law school almost entirely teaches federal appellate stuff. It can be a real shocker when some poor new grad walks into a barely-renovated DPW garage "courthouse" ready to argue some traffic ticket like it was SCOTUS, only to see some justice of the peace who isn't even a lawyer, whose orders are just checked boxes on a form, and who "shoots from the hip" and has no interest whatsoever in any of that fancy legal-talk you learned in law school.

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    2. God be damned! A third of a billion in debt for that building? That's more than a third of a million for each student. How do they propose to pay for that? They don't, I suppose, just as so many "students" nowadays don't intend to repay their loans.

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    3. The muni bond ($364 million) will be paid back by tuition revenue. The fact that individual students will for the most part go on IBR and never really pay it back in a meaningful way is irrelevant. The school gets the money upfront and going on IBR isn't default. Technically, if people just do the paperwork to get on IBR they are "paying as agreed" even if the "payment" calculates out to zero.

      As long as the grads fill out their IBR forms (which more and more schools are training them aggressively to do) the schools can, for all intents and purposes, print all the money they need. GradPLUS has no borrowing caps and the students don't have to pay back these "loans" in any real sense, if they fill out the proper forms.

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    4. Yes, but the payments on that bond will be steep. They will eat into the money that otherwise would have lined the pockets of many a scam-professor and scam-administrator.

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    5. This is true. It is hard to tell if the scam is as lucrative as it once was, probably not. However, the bond is an investment of sorts. Only a great school can afford state of the art fake courtrooms with a sleek building downtown, right (wink wink)? It will help differentiate them from their "academic" peers/competition. Sort of like Cooley's library and sponsoring a sports stadium.

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    6. Oh, yes, "great" Thomas Jefferson spent $90M of other people's money on a fancy new building—only to vacate it very soon thereafter and move into office space, where, soon enough, it relinquished its undeserved ABA accreditation.

      Funny how often "great" "academic" institutions mimic pimps, used-car salesmen, and carny-barkers.

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  13. While on the subject of bonds, every state has a special revenue law allowing colleges to issue Revenue Bonds to finance capital projects. The College Muni market was about $90 billion in 2000, now it's almost $400 billion. College presidents will nonetheless look you square in the eye and say "it's a myth we build all these buildings."

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