Saturday, October 29, 2022

Wilmington University to open the seventh law school in greater Philadelphia

Wilmington University, in New Castle, Delaware, is preparing to open a law school in 2023. This new über-toilet will be seventh law school in the general Philadelphia area.

Whatever its charms (and Old Guy must admit that he likes a good cheesesteak), greater Filthadelphia does not need the law schools that it alraedy has, let alone another. So what are the gimmicks that supposedly set this future über-toilet at Wilmington University apart?

First, allegedly low tuition of $24k per year. According to dean Philip Closius, who has made his career at various über-toilets around the US, "it will cost [students], at most, a total of $72,000 to earn a law degree". The cost, however, involves more than multiplying the annual tuition by three years. (And is he guaranteeing that tuition won't be raised?) On top of that, what is the value of a law degree from an unknown, unaccredited upstart of an über-toilet? He doesn't discuss that inconvenient little question.

Second, it proposes to prey upon "traditional- and non-traditional-age students, professionals transitioning from other careers, and multicultural populations". In short, it will be Indiana Tech all over again: a few local people whose commitments keep them from going to a decent law school (if they could get into one), older people whom age-based discrimination within the legal profession will soon hit right in the face (Old Guy being the poster boy for that), and various exploitable ethnic or racial minorities who can be duped into signing up for law school whether they belong there or not. According to LaVerne Harmon, president of the university, "[o]ur law school instructors will genuinely care about their students and be committed to making a difference in their lives." Pardon me while I yawn. She continues: "One of their main functions will be to prepare students for the real world that awaits them as attorneys." Assumes facts not in evidence, Harmon. Already lots of law students never pass a bar exam—a fact admitted in Wilmington's puff piece of an announcement. There is no reason to suppose that Wilmington's students will become attorneys. Closius makes the same mistake: he says that his über-toilet will help those many students who "want to specialize in areas of law they find meaningful but can’t because they have to choose specialties that aren’t as rewarding — just to pay off their loans". Something tells Old Guy that Wilmingtonians in the main are not going to enjoy abundant options in the legal profession—and that many won't become lawyers at all. But of course scamsters cheerfully dangle fantasies before the glassy eyes of 0Ls.

Another of those fantasies is the possibility of working far from Delaware—in Arizona, for instance. Outside a few élite and slightly sub-élite law schools, students rarely enjoy in practice the portability that exists in theory. If you want to work as a lawyer in Arizona, go either to a Harvard or to a law school in or very near Arizona. Do not throw your lot in with a bullshit question mark in distant Delaware. For that matter, if you want to work in Delaware, still don't go to Wilmington: look around for a decent school, such as Penn.

Yet another fantasy is access to "externships". The über-toilet will offer students academic credit for a 21-week "externship" with a lawyer. The difficulty is that local lawyers are hardly likely to snatch up all of the students who would like to avail themselves of this option.

Sound familiar? That's because we've seen it time and time again: an über-toilet opens amidst a load of self-congratulatory propaganda about being "a different type of law school", its tiny entering class has a median LSAT score in the 140s, and soon enough the propaganda yields way to reality. Old Guy predicts that Wilmington will prove to be yet another bottom-trawler that tries to prettify its students' general shittiness under the signboard of "diversity". The fancy educational opportunities envisioned by Closius will turn into mandatory bar review, and soon enough the school will shut down.

As is by now well known at this site, Old Guy recommends staying away from law school—except maybe Harvard, Yale, and eleven other schools listed elsewhere, and even those should often be avoided. Don't even consider Wilmington.