Failure is not an option (Campos)

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guano
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Re: Failure is not an option (Campos)

Postby guano » Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:39 pm

JusticeHarlan wrote:Preferably I'd like some sort of baby MBE after 1L year, testing 1L subjects, to do the weeding, rather than leave it to the schools, but it's all a flight of fancy anyways, so whatever.

California

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JusticeHarlan
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Re: Failure is not an option (Campos)

Postby JusticeHarlan » Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:54 pm

guano wrote:
JusticeHarlan wrote:Preferably I'd like some sort of baby MBE after 1L year, testing 1L subjects, to do the weeding, rather than leave it to the schools, but it's all a flight of fancy anyways, so whatever.

California

Your ability to convey just enough information to avoid looking totally clueless, while not really saying anything helpful, is unmatched.

But yeah, the CA baby bar for non-ABA accredited law schools was the basis for the idea. No idea how it works there, though, just throwing out ideas.

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IAFG
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Re: Failure is not an option (Campos)

Postby IAFG » Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:01 pm

Holly Golightly wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:If you think about it, the people attending top 50 law schools all had pretty good grades in college and/or LSAT scores, so they're capable of handling the material. It's not really a cross-section of intellectual ability. So you do have to have some kind of meltdown or just stop attending class to fail. People at the top 50 schools are much more likely to drop out voluntarily than fail.

I have done both of these things and just graduated from a T14. haha

If CPD wasn't brought in, it wasn't a real meltdown

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Re: Failure is not an option (Campos)

Postby Big Dog » Sun Aug 25, 2013 12:37 pm

I dunno, I always thought giving people a year to do well, then flunking them out if they don't, is a good middle ground. .......Opportunity for all, paternalism for the dumb.


I might concur if the bottom -- however defined -- of the class was not passing the bar after a couple of chances. But since many schools have relatively high pass rates, at one try, that is not the case. Thus, IMO, if a LS admits a student, the school should not just force xx % out every year.

(Again, the fact that there are scores of law schools that should not exist is a different issue on whether Colorado-Boulder or Hastings or...should purposely flunk out xx % of its class.)

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06102016
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Re: Failure is not an option (Campos)

Postby 06102016 » Sun Aug 25, 2013 12:42 pm

..

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Re: Failure is not an option (Campos)

Postby 06102016 » Sun Aug 25, 2013 12:47 pm

..

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JusticeHarlan
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Re: Failure is not an option (Campos)

Postby JusticeHarlan » Sun Aug 25, 2013 1:11 pm

Big Dog wrote:
I dunno, I always thought giving people a year to do well, then flunking them out if they don't, is a good middle ground. .......Opportunity for all, paternalism for the dumb.


I might concur if the bottom -- however defined -- of the class was not passing the bar after a couple of chances. But since many schools have relatively high pass rates, at one try, that is not the case. Thus, IMO, if a LS admits a student, the school should not just force xx % out every year.

(Again, the fact that there are scores of law schools that should not exist is a different issue on whether Colorado-Boulder or Hastings or...should purposely flunk out xx % of its class.)

Well, the problem is this: there are only X jobs for law graduates every year, and we graduate a lot more than X JD students. The question is what do we do about that. The current model does nothing, so thousands of students graduate each year with high debt and no job. So, what are the alternatives?

One way, as slackademic mentions, is to do what med schools do and keep people from enrolling in the first place. This is in line with people who want to shrink class sizes or close law schools or whatnot. I don't think that's all that bad an option, but it means you have to have a fair selection process for the remaining spots or it's not really the best way to do it. If you think GPA and LSAT are fair, then there's no problem with this system (other than transitioning to it).

But if you don't think the admissions process is the best way to select people, you need to either come up with a different process or decided on a different sorting point, with a different sorting mechanism, to get back to a number of graduates that is in line with the number of jobs. That's why I like a hybrid model where we keep some of the initial admissions process, but we acknowledge that isn't perfect and give more people a year to show they can do well in a somewhat law-related sorting mechanism, and then cut them if it doesn't work. Personally, I'm more impressed with someone who does really well at a lower ranked school than someone who had a higher GPA/LSAT but couldn't make it out of the bottom decile of their T1 school.

Your response seems to indicate you think the bar is the right sorting point. Clearly it's not, right now: too many people pass the bar but can't get jobs. You can make the bar harder and keep it as the filtering point, but that seems pretty cruel to let people accumulate 3 years worth of debt and then don't even let them participate in the job search because they're not licesned. That's why I think you either do what most people think and make the number of spots a lot smaller, or, as I was advocating before, make the point after 1 year and flunk out/somehow force out students until you get the right number.

Again, there are structural reasons why law schools don't every want to do this (they need the cash), but if we're coming up with alternatives I don't mind this one too much.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Failure is not an option (Campos)

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Aug 25, 2013 1:39 pm

JusticeHarlan wrote:Your response seems to indicate you think the bar is the right sorting point. Clearly it's not, right now: too many people pass the bar but can't get jobs. You can make the bar harder and keep it as the filtering point, but that seems pretty cruel to let people accumulate 3 years worth of debt and then don't even let them participate in the job search because they're not licesned. That's why I think you either do what most people think and make the number of spots a lot smaller, or, as I was advocating before, make the point after 1 year and flunk out/somehow force out students until you get the right number.

Again, there are structural reasons why law schools don't every want to do this (they need the cash), but if we're coming up with alternatives I don't mind this one too much.

On the other hand, some schools ARE doing this, presumably to avoid losing accreditation when too many of their students can't pass the bar. Currently the standards in this area are absurdly low, but the worst schools are responding to them. So perhaps the solution is to require higher bar passage rates in order to keep accreditation, which would force more schools to dump the low achievers after year one. This seems like a much better idea than telling Yale they have to fail out 10% of the class after one year.

timbs4339
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Re: Failure is not an option (Campos)

Postby timbs4339 » Sun Aug 25, 2013 1:47 pm

Holly Golightly wrote:
haus wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:The ABA could make the bar passage requirements tighter. If they changed to a flat number (say 80%) instead of the current "relative" formula, that would close a lot of schools very quickly.

This would only be viable if the states were willing to create a more equal standard for their bar exams.

Also, a lot of schools would be totally fine having an abysmal pass rate, which would just screw over their students even more.


They might not be fine with the whole "we can't get federal loans" thing.

JusticeHarlan wrote:I dunno, I always thought giving people a year to do well, then flunking them out if they don't, is a good middle ground. It lets the "special snowflakes" get their chance to show how capable they are so they can't complain about how unfair the admissions system is (because on a certain level using GPA and LSAT is kinda dumb), but if it turns out they're not beautiful and unique snowflakes then they get booted out with just a year's debt instead of three and they can't say they didn't have their shot. Opportunity for all, paternalism for the dumb.

Preferably I'd like some sort of baby MBE after 1L year, testing 1L subjects, to do the weeding, rather than leave it to the schools, but it's all a flight of fancy anyways, so whatever.


Thats essentially what we have now for decent paying jobs. People at low ranked law schools get a year to make top 10% or 5% to put themselves in a good position to repay debt.

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JusticeHarlan
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Re: Failure is not an option (Campos)

Postby JusticeHarlan » Sun Aug 25, 2013 2:01 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
JusticeHarlan wrote:Your response seems to indicate you think the bar is the right sorting point. Clearly it's not, right now: too many people pass the bar but can't get jobs. You can make the bar harder and keep it as the filtering point, but that seems pretty cruel to let people accumulate 3 years worth of debt and then don't even let them participate in the job search because they're not licesned. That's why I think you either do what most people think and make the number of spots a lot smaller, or, as I was advocating before, make the point after 1 year and flunk out/somehow force out students until you get the right number.

Again, there are structural reasons why law schools don't every want to do this (they need the cash), but if we're coming up with alternatives I don't mind this one too much.

On the other hand, some schools ARE doing this, presumably to avoid losing accreditation when too many of their students can't pass the bar. Currently the standards in this area are absurdly low, but the worst schools are responding to them. So perhaps the solution is to require higher bar passage rates in order to keep accreditation, which would force more schools to dump the low achievers after year one. This seems like a much better idea than telling Yale they have to fail out 10% of the class after one year.

I do think the way to get around the Yale thing was a standardized post-1L baby MBE to winnow the total number of law students, rather than making quotas on a per school basis. But your point is very fair, and we'll see how it plays out. Michigan could be an interesting state to watch, with it supposedly making its bar more difficult, an overall declining number of apps, and the presence of a certain school that already fails out a large number of students.

timbs4339 wrote:Thats essentially what we have now for decent paying jobs. People at low ranked law schools get a year to make top 10% or 5% to put themselves in a good position to repay debt.

Exactly, which is why I wouldn't mind giving people a year to figure out who will be in that percentage, then kicking out the rest before they keep acquiring debt.

Big Dog
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Re: Failure is not an option (Campos)

Postby Big Dog » Sun Aug 25, 2013 5:25 pm

too many people pass the bar but can't get jobs.


That's irrelevant. There are thousands of French Lit majors who graduate from college every year: should they be flunked out? (On the contrary, language classes are GPA boosters.) U-Colorado, Campos' Uni, had 5 "Interdisciplinary Studies" majors last year? Should they be allowed to graduate if they can't obtain a job?

The point is that a law school is supposed to train lawyers. And if those students can pass the bar, they become a lawyer. The LS has done its job.

Think about it this way: if you are Dean of a LS, and your budget is based on 275 grads, and you had to flunk out a third of the 1L's, you'd just admin 400 of them. Is that even moral? As Dean, you would be only admitting 125 students for the sole sake of their money, because you know with absolute certainty that they will not be allowed to return.

btw: California reportedly has a difficult bar, but even grads to TTT do pass it every year.

But if you don't think the admissions process is the best way to select people, you need to either come up with a different process or decided on a different sorting point...


Not me; I don;t have to come up with anything. Instead, I strongly support mandated transparency by the ABA on outcomes, particularly wrt jobs. Then, if stupid people want to waste their financial future on TT, then PT Barnum was right: a sucker is born every minute. OTOH, if I was to "sort", I'd eliminate all federal grad loans. Voila -- less law schools and fewer lawyers.

The medical profession's gatekeeping function is much stronger and starts at the med school admission level rather than with board exams or whatever else. There's no equivalent gatekeeping function in law when there are so many dreadful schools out there.


Actually, the feds directly and indirectly cap med school size because they pay for the bulk of the education/training. Not to mention that med training is extremely expensive for a Uni. In contrast, Law Schools are cash cows. Yes, the ABA has no interest in stopping these money-making machines. So it is then moral to accept 1L money with the sole objective to flunk them out?

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JusticeHarlan
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Re: Failure is not an option (Campos)

Postby JusticeHarlan » Sun Aug 25, 2013 5:42 pm

Big Dog wrote:
too many people pass the bar but can't get jobs.


That's irrelevant. There are thousands of French Lit majors who graduate from college every year: should they be flunked out? (On the contrary, language classes are GPA boosters.)

I don't see how that's irrelevent, that's entirely the problem with the system. If you don't have a problem with thousands of jobless JDs, then why would we change anything? If you don't accept the premise that that's the problem then we're not having the same conversation, because I don't know what you think the system should look like.

And the difference with French Lit is that French Lit isn't a professional degree, which has the sole purpose of preparing you for a specific job. But when you consider how poor the employment rate for college grads is these days, yes, there is a very good argument that we should have fewer French Lit grads out there.

Big Dog wrote:Think about it this way: if you are Dean of a LS, and your budget is based on 275 grads, and you had to flunk out a third of the 1L's, you'd just admin 400 of them. Is that even moral? As Dean, you would be only admitting 125 students for the sole sake of their money, because you know with absolute certainty that they will not be allowed to return.
There are already restraints in the system to prevent that. You think that right now Cooley or whomever wouldn't have a class of 5,000 if they could swing it, for all that extra cash to play with (or get a bigger contract for the dean when the university siphons off all that money for other things, as the case may be)? Schools don't do that because their admissions criteria would tank if they took so many extra students and it would hurt their rankings, which is the one thing they care about as much as money.

Edit: but you are right in that this would cause financial difficulties for some schools, and in that case I guess why not just shut them down to begin with.

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Re: Failure is not an option (Campos)

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Sun Aug 25, 2013 6:56 pm

JusticeHarlan wrote:
Big Dog wrote:Think about it this way: if you are Dean of a LS, and your budget is based on 275 grads, and you had to flunk out a third of the 1L's, you'd just admin 400 of them. Is that even moral? As Dean, you would be only admitting 125 students for the sole sake of their money, because you know with absolute certainty that they will not be allowed to return.


There are already restraints in the system to prevent that. You think that right now Cooley or whomever wouldn't have a class of 5,000 if they could swing it, for all that extra cash to play with (or get a bigger contract for the dean when the university siphons off all that money for other things, as the case may be)? Schools don't do that because their admissions criteria would tank if they took so many extra students and it would hurt their rankings, which is the one thing they care about as much as money.


Schools like Cooley blatantly don't care about their ranking and solely intend to essentially maximize their own financial well-being. And for good reason, because Cooley's standards are far too low to be ranked. There's essentially no incentive for Cooley not to have an acceptance rate of 100%. The only limit they, or any school so bad as to have no hope of even being ranked, face is the number of students willing to put down a deposit. Want to bet Cooley's acceptance rate goes to 85-90% this year?

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Re: Failure is not an option (Campos)

Postby Big Dog » Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:34 pm

If you don't have a problem with thousands of jobless JDs, then why would we change anything?


That's a strawman argument. I have no problem with 'changing things'; I just oppose Campos's suggestion to flunk out xx% of the class which to me, is not moral.

Schools don't do that because their admissions criteria would tank if they took so many extra students and it would hurt their rankings, which is the one thing they care about as much as money.


Perhaps true but isn't that exactly what Paul has suggested?

I guess why not just shut them down to begin with.


Concur.

If you don't accept the premise that that's the problem then we're not having the same conversation, because I don't know what you think the system should look like.


Instead of a bunch of smaller schools by flunking out 1Ls, how about fewer law schools? Getting rid of federal loans will do the trick.
Last edited by Big Dog on Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Failure is not an option (Campos)

Postby Paul Campos » Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:35 pm

Schools with highest acceptance rates in 2012:

New England Law 89% (their dean was paid $867K in 2011, and was head of the ABA section in charge of accrediting law schools that year).

Phoenix 86%

Vermont 83%

Cooley's acceptance rate was a comparatively selective 74%, even though their LSAT 25th percentile was 142, which I believe is around the 17th percentile. I wouldn't be surprised if they get an inordinate number of applications with serious C&F questions and the like.

Edit: BTW I haven't actually suggested that schools go back to flunking out a third or more of their first year classes, as they apparently did 50 years ago. I do think the fact that law school grades have been radically inflated in recent years is an interesting development, which I've been meaning to write more about.

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Re: Failure is not an option (Campos)

Postby twenty » Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:58 pm

Paul Campos wrote:I do think the fact that law school grades have been radically inflated in recent years is an interesting development, which I've been meaning to write more about.


Though I doubt there's any legitimate correlation, it seems that a lot of (read: basically all) undergraduate programs have inflated their grades over the last 20 years as well.

I'm curious as to how you feel about law school grade inflation/not failing students basically ever.

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Re: Failure is not an option (Campos)

Postby guano » Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:28 pm

twentypercentmore wrote:
Paul Campos wrote:I do think the fact that law school grades have been radically inflated in recent years is an interesting development, which I've been meaning to write more about.


Though I doubt there's any legitimate correlation, it seems that a lot of (read: basically all) undergraduate programs have inflated their grades over the last 20 years as well.

I'm curious as to how you feel about law school grade inflation/not failing students basically ever.

Who cares about actual grades in law school? All employers care about is class rank

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Re: Failure is not an option (Campos)

Postby IAFG » Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:03 pm

guano wrote:
twentypercentmore wrote:
Paul Campos wrote:I do think the fact that law school grades have been radically inflated in recent years is an interesting development, which I've been meaning to write more about.


Though I doubt there's any legitimate correlation, it seems that a lot of (read: basically all) undergraduate programs have inflated their grades over the last 20 years as well.

I'm curious as to how you feel about law school grade inflation/not failing students basically ever.

Who cares about actual grades in law school? All employers care about is class rank

Many schools don't rank.

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Re: Failure is not an option (Campos)

Postby JusticeHarlan » Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:30 pm

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
JusticeHarlan wrote:
Big Dog wrote:Think about it this way: if you are Dean of a LS, and your budget is based on 275 grads, and you had to flunk out a third of the 1L's, you'd just admin 400 of them. Is that even moral? As Dean, you would be only admitting 125 students for the sole sake of their money, because you know with absolute certainty that they will not be allowed to return.


There are already restraints in the system to prevent that. You think that right now Cooley or whomever wouldn't have a class of 5,000 if they could swing it, for all that extra cash to play with (or get a bigger contract for the dean when the university siphons off all that money for other things, as the case may be)? Schools don't do that because their admissions criteria would tank if they took so many extra students and it would hurt their rankings, which is the one thing they care about as much as money.


Schools like Cooley blatantly don't care about their ranking and solely intend to essentially maximize their own financial well-being. And for good reason, because Cooley's standards are far too low to be ranked. There's essentially no incentive for Cooley not to have an acceptance rate of 100%. The only limit they, or any school so bad as to have no hope of even being ranked, face is the number of students willing to put down a deposit. Want to bet Cooley's acceptance rate goes to 85-90% this year?

This would seem to support my point. He argued that there'd be a risk that schools will just increase their class size, but if schools like Cooley and those Campos mentions below are already letting in pretty much everyone they can, failing out students won't raise the size of their first year class because they're grabbing as many tuition paying people already.

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JusticeHarlan
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Re: Failure is not an option (Campos)

Postby JusticeHarlan » Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:31 pm

Big Dog wrote:
If you don't accept the premise that that's the problem then we're not having the same conversation, because I don't know what you think the system should look like.


Instead of a bunch of smaller schools by flunking out 1Ls, how about fewer law schools? Getting rid of federal loans will do the trick.

I'll quote myself first, because I thought I addressed this:
I don't think that's all that bad an option, but it means you have to have a fair selection process for the remaining spots or it's not really the best way to do it. If you think GPA and LSAT are fair, then there's no problem with this system (other than transitioning to it).

Basically, if you contract schools, you have to trust GPA/LSAT to properly determine who gets in and, basically, who becomes a lawyer. If you think that's the best way to figure it out, then there is no problem, but I do have some issue with grades that people got when they were 18 determining their career trajectory like that, and it makes me feel a little better that we can give people some chance to do something as first year law students.

But, yeah, it's only a minor preference, and there are arguments that say just kill the schools/free flow of government money.

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Re: Failure is not an option (Campos)

Postby 20141023 » Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:35 pm

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jselson
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Re: Failure is not an option (Campos)

Postby jselson » Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:27 pm

From an equity standpoint, how would a lack of fed funding work for those who can't afford law school? Would schools have to team up with private lenders, and possibly the better schools would be able to offer lower rates?

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twenty
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Re: Failure is not an option (Campos)

Postby twenty » Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:49 pm

Keep in mind that IBR and PAYE are like very long parole sentences -- you screw up, and the party's over. If qualifying for, obtaining, and keeping biglaw is like a tight-rope walk; a borrower keeping IBR/PAYE for 20 years is like a 5-person trapeze act.

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JusticeHarlan
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Re: Failure is not an option (Campos)

Postby JusticeHarlan » Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:59 pm

jselson wrote:From an equity standpoint, how would a lack of fed funding work for those who can't afford law school? Would schools have to team up with private lenders, and possibly the better schools would be able to offer lower rates?

Presumably, private lenders would be willing to extend credit to students who attend schools that would be good investments and would decline to do so to attend schools that are not good investments, factoring the credit worthiness of the particular student. So, most people would be able to get a loan to go to Harvard, even if they're not able to pay out of pocket, but not so to attend Cooley, so Cooley would either have to charge less for tuition or close up. What exactly this does to the schools in between would be interesting.

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Re: Failure is not an option (Campos)

Postby 20141023 » Sun Aug 25, 2013 11:36 pm

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