A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

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Always Credited
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Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby Always Credited » Fri Oct 23, 2009 8:29 pm

NeverlandRancher wrote: a great law program (read Tier 2)



Ahh...now I see the problem in this discourse.

NeverlandRancher
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Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby NeverlandRancher » Fri Oct 23, 2009 8:34 pm

Always Credited wrote:
NeverlandRancher wrote: a great law program (read Tier 2)



Ahh...now I see the problem in this discourse.


I think the majority of T2 schools are great law programs.

Edit: great as in quality of education, not great compared to T14 schools.

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Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby observationalist » Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:23 pm

Philo38 wrote:
reasonable_man wrote:
Philo38 wrote:I find that article ridiculous. I grew up in Nashville and there is a huge lack of locally educated attorneys. The Belmont School of Law will fill a niche for the Nashville area for the music business scene as well as the local politics. The fact is, there are far more Tennessee residents at Belmont than at Vandy, and Belmont has a far greater presence in Tennessee and Nashville politics. It will be good to have a local school that will be feeding people with JDs right into the local market, whether they go into music business, politics, healthcare business, or try to get job at a firm.

The fact is, Nashville is one of the healthcare and music hubs of the country and BOTH of those industrys need lawyers. Plus, I think the prospect that Belmont Law grads will provide any competition for Vanderbilt is simply silly.


Yes. What we need is more lawyers. The 40,000 or so they minted last year really isn't getting it done.


Look, I understand the general market is flooded with lawyers right now, but it would be foolish to look at the overall numbers of the nation and apply them broadly to all localities wouldn't it?

1) Belmont school of law (atleast the idea is) will be permanent, the recession will not. This is a long term invesment.

2) Nashville's needs are not equivalent to the entire job market. We have a MASSIVE underepresented, undereducated community in middle Tennessee and we haven't opened a law school in over 100 years. Less than 15% of the people who enter highschool in Tennessee end up going to college. Our community will benefit greatly from the addition of a law school, which we haven't had the benefit of for a VERY long time. The only full-time law school in Nashville, the only one, is the elite Vanderbilt, it certainly will be benificial to our community to have another option.

3) Try and look away from the shiny blue buzzing light that is firm job competition. There are other ways law degrees, lawyers, and a law school can benefit Nashville.
4) Belmont is a very good school and I never look badly upon the addition of education to a community, no matter how mad I am that my job chances are hurting right now.

5) The market will determine the outcome. If Belmont or other law schools don't have applicants for thier JD programs they will close thier doors. Bottom line. Don't blame the school blame . . . well . . . us.


Ok, so this is my 1,000th post and it's being made on a Friday night, while I'm in the law school library writing an article on how to create open access to employment information so that people can actually determine the value of a JD from a particular school. At the same time, rumor has it Springsteen is going to pop up at Mercy Lounge tonight, where tickets for the band being billed are just $15 a head. If at some point I get a text telling me he's there then I may consider ditching this scholarly effort to go attend to my soul, but for now I'll do what I can to help resolve this argument.

Philo, you're making a great case for why Tennessee needs more lawyers willing to serve underrepresented, uneducated communities. I agree with you if that's your point with the bolded above. Some of our professors and administrators have done a lot during their careers to increase the number of graduates who pursue public interest careers or go into government. Some of us students have also participated: we've reached out to local organizations, set up externships, raised awareness about issues ranging from gay adoption to immigration to environmental justice, helped school raise more funds for public interest stipends, argued in favor of improving our loan repayment options, and tried anything else we can cook up that will encourage more academically excellent individuals to choose Vanderbilt with an interest in social justice. Wherever you end up going to law school, you will have the opportunity to do the same. There is enormous opportunity for establishing and then strengthening programs that operate on a lower cost structure and do not put people into six figures of debt so that they have the freedom to go into the line of work that you've correctly identified as being in the greatest demand. If Belmont was going to set up a uniquely inexpensive option and aim its students towards serving underrepresented communities, then it would indeed be filling a void in the ranks of lawyers in middle Tennessee.

But they're not... they're falsely claiming that there is a void in the entertainment business which [more than a dozen of] their graduates will fill, and they're implying that tuition is affordable simply because it's between what the best and the worst schools charge. I see no indication that Belmont expects to show prospective students what their realistic job prospects are going to be, or at least that students can get the jobs they need to comfortably manage their debt burden. Belmont certainly has connections in the music industry and throughout Nashville society and I have no doubt that some students will get set up with excellent internships during school and solid job prospects for when they graduate. But unless you're talking about job creation (i.e. getting SESAC or smaller outfits to create new positions exclusively for Belmont JD's where no jobs previously existed), then there are not going to be many of these lucrative, highly appealing jobs. If you haven't spoken with her yet I recommend talking with the director at the Volunteer Lawyers and Professionals for the Arts, here in town. She knows better than I do what the job prospects are actually like in the entertainment biz and what sort of void may or may not exist. But as I said last week, even if Belmont succeeds in sufficiently raising its profile to place it squarely in the middle of the ranks for ABA-approved schools, you're looking at solid job prospects for perhaps the top 10-20% of their class, uncertain prospects going down the ranks, and virtually nothing that's able to pay off a six-figure debt for the bottom half. That's only if the economy recovers. A new school cannot change the realities that tuition is not based on employment outcomes.

I don't want to fault the schools here like people are apt to do, but I also won't fault the uninformed consumers of JDs. The way the rules work right now, schools don't have to make comprehensive employment information public in order to receive/maintain accreditation, or even to be ranked highly by USNews. Schools only have to report the number of graduates that are employed, and for both the ABA and NALP "a job is a job." (This is why there's an image of Ronald McDonald in this thread... a person who has a JD but is working in fast food or retail will still be held out by their law school as employed). At no point will Belmont need to come clean about the sort of jobs they expect their graduates to get. They will likely do what the vast majority of law schools currently do: overemphasize the success of their top graduates while limiting available information about the rest. To the uninformed consumer of a JD- the prospective law student- it's entirely reasonable to assume law schools must operate ethically and would never mislead consumers.

You're also right that Belmont has identified a demand among applicants for another JD program in Tennessee. I don't think it's fair to say demand is coming from morons, but I do believe the general public is severely uninformed about JD job prospects. People have been complaining about this information gap for years and yet little has changed... so long as a school can find enough people with good college gpas and decent test scores who believe that a JD opens doors, they can continue charging tuition, let people rack up debt, and then hide graduates who are unsatisfied with their result while holding up successful graduates to new ranks of the uninformed.

Point is, greater demand from applicants for another law school in Nashville in no way suggests applicants are informed about their actual job prospects. Schools have a number of incentives to hide information and face a very low risk of getting in trouble. The ABA doesn't impose sanctions on schools for misleading prospective students in their recruitment materials. And even when the ABA knows that a new school isn't needed and that it will create a lot of debt-ridden, unhappy people, they don't have much authority to deny accreditation. (That doesn't mean the ABA hasn't tried, but they generally lose the battle because schools can point, in the same way you're doing, to the high demand for people who want JDs as grounds for letting them exist.) As an analogy, payday lenders operate legally in some jurisdictions because they say they're providing a service to people who otherwise wouldn't be able to receive loans. They are indeed providing loans to people who didn't qualify for more less risky loans, but that doesn't mean they're not exploiting uninformed consumers or putting people in a worse position than before. A good regulatory system would at least do a good job of requiring information to be made public... whether the consumer bothers to look at the information is ultimately their call.

I guess my general point is that we're not just talking about a saturated legal market or the need for better legal representation among poorer communities. Both of those points are absolutely valid. Both also suggest some reforms are in order, such as having law schools reduce their overall class size while lowering tuition for people who will commit to serving underrepresented communities. But from what I can tell Belmont is setting their class size based on how much tuition they need to operate a law school. Their class size is in no way determined by what the legal market demand is like for JDs in Nashville.

I've only spent the last two years studying the legal market but I can assume Belmont's administration knows at least as much as I do after their 5-year examination. They're undoubtedly aware of the fact that they will not need to make public what sort of jobs their graduates take. They also understand that, like every other law school, they will have wide discretion to underreport salaries when the information doesn't look good, to underreport unemployment (USNews assumes 25% of all the "unknown" graduates must be employed but somehow eluded their career services department, even at schools as small as Vanderbilt where it's virtually unheard of that the school genuinely doesn't know what a graduate is doing), to craft highly appealing and misleading advertisements (and the prospects of working on major record deals like jenesaislaw does is certainly going to appeal to music fans all over the country, even though jobs like jenesaislaw's aren't paid and don't necessarily end up in fulltime employment because there are so few legal jobs in the entertainment business), and to engage in all of these activities with a very low risk of receiving any sort of sanction by the ABA or the market of uninformed JD consumers.

In talking with administrators and faculty I'm convinced that the schools don't generally want it this way, which is why I'm not apt to blame them. But when they're forced into heightened competition with each other for their USNews rank, they're not generally going to be keen on the idea of unilaterally releasing more information than what the ABA requires. Until each law school starts publishing full employment lists of what every graduate does for work, the presumption should be that the school is not disclosing enough information to accurately measure the risks you're going to face in financing your legal education. Only two law schools currently publish such lists. One of them, coincidentally, is in Nashville... it's the one I'm sitting in right now, two miles from where the Boss might be playing in an hour.

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Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby observationalist » Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:31 pm

OperaSoprano wrote:
Matthies wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:MTal: I'm not against closing schools that don't give decent prospects to their students (especially those that intentionally obfuscate the truth), but I do think it would be fundamentally unjust to have some sort of LSAT/GPA cutoff for initial funding. Those numbers are only modestly correlated with 1L success. (There are several studies to this effect that very clearly show that LSAT/GPA is not destiny. YCRev claims he can't plug in my numbers and tell me where I'll place in my own class.)


But under what your proposing then wouldn’t there be a cutoff for GPA/LSAT for people who could go to law school then? I mean if you close the law schools off to people with some arbitrary GPA/LAST number how that anymore unjust than making people pay for LS if they want to go. (Not that I agree that loans should be cut off, but its seems your making the argument don’t cutoff loans to ME because I would not be able to go, but do cut off acess to law school for those beneath me because they don’t deserve to go). I don’t know if that’s what your trying to say, but that is how I’m reading it. I think that would be unjust. Let people go to law school. Let people fail. Those that want it bad enough will rise to the top.


My plan would be to punish schools for dishonesty and false advertising, not create bright line LSAT/GPA cutoffs. I am fundamentally opposed to such a concept, and don't think it would work very well in practice. I would argue that all law schools should be audited (to prevent misrepresentation), and schools with very low bar passage and employment statistics would be given a few years to catch up. Those unable to do so would then lose accreditation. The remaining law schools (at least one public school in every state, and many others that do decently in their markets) would then use holistic evaluation methods (not just LSAT/GPA) to select students, and those students would receive guaranteed Federal loans dischargable in bankruptcy. I think this would be the fairest way to do it.


For my 1,001st post, I would like to indicate that I will be citing to your suggestion in our forthcoming paper. Good work OS (even though it's Friday night and you should be out in NY short of having some huge assignment to write).

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Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby adrib » Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:40 pm

sigh. every time he posts, observationalist makes me want to go to vandy.

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Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby orangeswarm » Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:49 pm

NeverlandRancher wrote:
orangeswarm wrote:1. Yes.
2. Yes.
3. Didn't misread your sentence. You said "Ole Miss (the non-Vandy Nashville elite school of choice for some reason)." If you don't understand how that equates to saying Ole Miss is an elite school, I can't help you. In addition, it is not the non-vandy school of choice in Nashville. But, then again, I clearly don't know what the hell I'm talking about.


Alright, let me paraphrase it for you (as somebody else already has):
"The school of choice for the non-Vandy elite of Nashville."

Is that easier for you to understand?
American Heritage- elite n: A group or class of persons or a member of such a group or class, enjoying superior intellectual, social, or economic status.
So now you tell me. Is it indeed possible that my original statement could have inferred something other than the fact that Ole Miss is an elite school?

Also, I just looked the the 2009 matriculation list from the school i attended in nashville and Ole Miss is once again the single most represented school (more than UTK, Vanderbilt, Georgia, etc). This also held true for my graduating class and the three before and after it.


As little as I care about this argument, your general lack of tact and abrasive attitude keeps me coming back for more.

Soooooo, let me break this down for you with some actual data (I’m sure you know that the number of students in your school from Ole Miss DOES NOT have anything to do with the number of Ole Miss attorneys employed in Nashville)........Quick search of martindale shows:

557 lawyers in Nashville who went to UT
458 that went to Nashville School of Law
190 that went to Memphis
63 from University of Kentucky
-AND-
45 that went to Ole Miss
(feel free to look for yourself at http://www.martindale.com

Even NSL, a non-accredited institution, has a better showing in Nashville than Ole Miss.

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Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby observationalist » Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:51 pm

adrib wrote:sigh. every time he posts, observationalist makes me want to go to vandy.


You were able to read all of that?? once I posted I went back and seriously questioned what exactly I'm trying to do. Maybe it's a side effect of trying to write 30 pages in the next two weeks. And in Belmont's defense, their law students could also find themselves in the unfortunate position of deciding between schoolwork and incredibly awesome live music that beats any other city for quality, price and accessibility. This city is definitely a great location for a law school, were there actually a need for another one operating in the standard manner.

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Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby Dialogue » Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:52 pm

adrib wrote:sigh. every time he posts, observationalist makes me want to go to vandy.


Agreed. His subtle trolling is incredibly helpful, though that seems oxymoronic.

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Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby soullesswonder » Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:03 pm

Dialogue wrote:
adrib wrote:sigh. every time he posts, observationalist makes me want to go to vandy.


Agreed. His subtle trolling is incredibly helpful, though that seems oxymoronic.


I once drew a distinction in a thread between trolling and "boostering", mostly because of observationalist and OperaSoprano. Ob is a huge credit to his school and I don't consider what he does trolling in any way. It's only fitting that his 1000th post would be a sincere attempt to educate TLS while laying out his philosophy. My hat's off to you, sir.

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Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby Mr. Matlock » Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:09 pm

observationalist wrote:Ok, so this is my 1,000th post and it's being made on a Friday night, while I'm in the law school library writing an article on how to create open access to employment information so that people can actually determine the value of a JD from a particular school. At the same time, rumor has it Springsteen is going to pop up at Mercy Lounge tonight, where tickets for the band being billed are just $15 a head. If at some point I get a text telling me he's there then I may consider ditching this scholarly effort to go attend to my soul, but for now I'll do what I can to help resolve this argument.

Philo, you're making a great case for why Tennessee needs more lawyers willing to serve underrepresented, uneducated communities. I agree with you if that's your point with the bolded above. Some of our professors and administrators have done a lot during their careers to increase the number of graduates who pursue public interest careers or go into government. Some of us students have also participated: we've reached out to local organizations, set up externships, raised awareness about issues ranging from gay adoption to immigration to environmental justice, helped school raise more funds for public interest stipends, argued in favor of improving our loan repayment options, and tried anything else we can cook up that will encourage more academically excellent individuals to choose Vanderbilt with an interest in social justice. Wherever you end up going to law school, you will have the opportunity to do the same. There is enormous opportunity for establishing and then strengthening programs that operate on a lower cost structure and do not put people into six figures of debt so that they have the freedom to go into the line of work that you've correctly identified as being in the greatest demand. If Belmont was going to set up a uniquely inexpensive option and aim its students towards serving underrepresented communities, then it would indeed be filling a void in the ranks of lawyers in middle Tennessee.

But they're not... they're falsely claiming that there is a void in the entertainment business which [more than a dozen of] their graduates will fill, and they're implying that tuition is affordable simply because it's between what the best and the worst schools charge. I see no indication that Belmont expects to show prospective students what their realistic job prospects are going to be, or at least that students can get the jobs they need to comfortably manage their debt burden. Belmont certainly has connections in the music industry and throughout Nashville society and I have no doubt that some students will get set up with excellent internships during school and solid job prospects for when they graduate. But unless you're talking about job creation (i.e. getting SESAC or smaller outfits to create new positions exclusively for Belmont JD's where no jobs previously existed), then there are not going to be many of these lucrative, highly appealing jobs. If you haven't spoken with her yet I recommend talking with the director at the Volunteer Lawyers and Professionals for the Arts, here in town. She knows better than I do what the job prospects are actually like in the entertainment biz and what sort of void may or may not exist. But as I said last week, even if Belmont succeeds in sufficiently raising its profile to place it squarely in the middle of the ranks for ABA-approved schools, you're looking at solid job prospects for perhaps the top 10-20% of their class, uncertain prospects going down the ranks, and virtually nothing that's able to pay off a six-figure debt for the bottom half. That's only if the economy recovers. A new school cannot change the realities that tuition is not based on employment outcomes.

I don't want to fault the schools here like people are apt to do, but I also won't fault the uninformed consumers of JDs. The way the rules work right now, schools don't have to make comprehensive employment information public in order to receive/maintain accreditation, or even to be ranked highly by USNews. Schools only have to report the number of graduates that are employed, and for both the ABA and NALP "a job is a job." (This is why there's an image of Ronald McDonald in this thread... a person who has a JD but is working in fast food or retail will still be held out by their law school as employed). At no point will Belmont need to come clean about the sort of jobs they expect their graduates to get. They will likely do what the vast majority of law schools currently do: overemphasize the success of their top graduates while limiting available information about the rest. To the uninformed consumer of a JD- the prospective law student- it's entirely reasonable to assume law schools must operate ethically and would never mislead consumers.

You're also right that Belmont has identified a demand among applicants for another JD program in Tennessee. I don't think it's fair to say demand is coming from morons, but I do believe the general public is severely uninformed about JD job prospects. People have been complaining about this information gap for years and yet little has changed... so long as a school can find enough people with good college gpas and decent test scores who believe that a JD opens doors, they can continue charging tuition, let people rack up debt, and then hide graduates who are unsatisfied with their result while holding up successful graduates to new ranks of the uninformed.

Point is, greater demand from applicants for another law school in Nashville in no way suggests applicants are informed about their actual job prospects. Schools have a number of incentives to hide information and face a very low risk of getting in trouble. The ABA doesn't impose sanctions on schools for misleading prospective students in their recruitment materials. And even when the ABA knows that a new school isn't needed and that it will create a lot of debt-ridden, unhappy people, they don't have much authority to deny accreditation. (That doesn't mean the ABA hasn't tried, but they generally lose the battle because schools can point, in the same way you're doing, to the high demand for people who want JDs as grounds for letting them exist.) As an analogy, payday lenders operate legally in some jurisdictions because they say they're providing a service to people who otherwise wouldn't be able to receive loans. They are indeed providing loans to people who didn't qualify for more less risky loans, but that doesn't mean they're not exploiting uninformed consumers or putting people in a worse position than before. A good regulatory system would at least do a good job of requiring information to be made public... whether the consumer bothers to look at the information is ultimately their call.

I guess my general point is that we're not just talking about a saturated legal market or the need for better legal representation among poorer communities. Both of those points are absolutely valid. Both also suggest some reforms are in order, such as having law schools reduce their overall class size while lowering tuition for people who will commit to serving underrepresented communities. But from what I can tell Belmont is setting their class size based on how much tuition they need to operate a law school. Their class size is in no way determined by what the legal market demand is like for JDs in Nashville.

I've only spent the last two years studying the legal market but I can assume Belmont's administration knows at least as much as I do after their 5-year examination. They're undoubtedly aware of the fact that they will not need to make public what sort of jobs their graduates take. They also understand that, like every other law school, they will have wide discretion to underreport salaries when the information doesn't look good, to underreport unemployment (USNews assumes 25% of all the "unknown" graduates must be employed but somehow eluded their career services department, even at schools as small as Vanderbilt where it's virtually unheard of that the school genuinely doesn't know what a graduate is doing), to craft highly appealing and misleading advertisements (and the prospects of working on major record deals like jenesaislaw does is certainly going to appeal to music fans all over the country, even though jobs like jenesaislaw's aren't paid and don't necessarily end up in fulltime employment because there are so few legal jobs in the entertainment business), and to engage in all of these activities with a very low risk of receiving any sort of sanction by the ABA or the market of uninformed JD consumers.

In talking with administrators and faculty I'm convinced that the schools don't generally want it this way, which is why I'm not apt to blame them. But when they're forced into heightened competition with each other for their USNews rank, they're not generally going to be keen on the idea of unilaterally releasing more information than what the ABA requires. Until each law school starts publishing full employment lists of what every graduate does for work, the presumption should be that the school is not disclosing enough information to accurately measure the risks you're going to face in financing your legal education. Only two law schools currently publish such lists. One of them, coincidentally, is in Nashville... it's the one I'm sitting in right now, two miles from where the Boss might be playing in an hour.


Ladies and Gentlemen... I give you Observationalist! Quite possibly one of the greatest replies on this, and similar ABA Accreditation threads EVER!! Thank you!

Game... Set... Match. You can collect your coats and hats at the door and please don't forget to tip your drivers.

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Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby Always Credited » Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:43 pm

Mr. Matlock wrote:
observationalist wrote: A BUNCH OF SINCERE AND USEFUL ARGUMENTATION THAT EFFECTIVELY ENDS THE DISPUTE


Ladies and Gentlemen... I give you Observationalist! Quite possibly one of the greatest replies on this, and similar ABA Accreditation threads EVER!! Thank you!

Game... Set... Match. You can collect your coats and hats at the door and please don't forget to tip your drivers.


quack....quack...QUACK...QUACK...QUACK...QUACK!!!

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Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby Mr. Matlock » Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:18 am

Always Credited wrote:
Mr. Matlock wrote:
observationalist wrote: A BUNCH OF SINCERE AND USEFUL ARGUMENTATION THAT EFFECTIVELY ENDS THE DISPUTE


Ladies and Gentlemen... I give you Observationalist! Quite possibly one of the greatest replies on this, and similar ABA Accreditation threads EVER!! Thank you!

Game... Set... Match. You can collect your coats and hats at the door and please don't forget to tip your drivers.


quack....quack...QUACK...QUACK...QUACK...QUACK!!!

--ImageRemoved--

Now look what you've done.

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Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby observationalist » Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:38 am

Thanks to all who helped make my 1000th post what it was... may you all spend more time writing out arguments on TLS than in the papers that ultimately determine your required seminar grade. And I wasn't joking about citing to the posts of specific people where they're particularly concise (in other words, where they're the opposite of one of my posts). Also if anyone's interested in a more thorough examination of how schools might offer a low-cost alternative to assist commiunities the way Philo was mentioning, the former Dean at Gonzaga law published a very interesting article back in the Journal of Legal Education's June '06 issue called Saving Legal Education. 56 J. Legal Educ. 254., author is Daniel J. Morrissey.

K I'm on my phone, library kicked me out so I'm calling it a night. I don't think the Belmont debate is over but it might have to wait until they reveal more of their plans. Also, I could end up eating some of my words if they have indeed thought about this stuff and have legitimate plans to keep costs down and place everyone in the class. Just being a rational skeptic for now... I rode my bike by Belmont earlier on my way home and it really is a beautiful campus in a great spot.

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Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby OperaSoprano » Sat Oct 24, 2009 1:14 am

Mr. Matlock wrote:
Always Credited wrote:
Mr. Matlock wrote:
observationalist wrote: A BUNCH OF SINCERE AND USEFUL ARGUMENTATION THAT EFFECTIVELY ENDS THE DISPUTE


Ladies and Gentlemen... I give you Observationalist! Quite possibly one of the greatest replies on this, and similar ABA Accreditation threads EVER!! Thank you!

Game... Set... Match. You can collect your coats and hats at the door and please don't forget to tip your drivers.


quack....quack...QUACK...QUACK...QUACK...QUACK!!!

--ImageRemoved--

Now look what you've done.


I actually think you should lure Mallard back to the site. I miss him.

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Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby OperaSoprano » Sat Oct 24, 2009 1:25 am

observationalist wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:
Matthies wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:MTal: I'm not against closing schools that don't give decent prospects to their students (especially those that intentionally obfuscate the truth), but I do think it would be fundamentally unjust to have some sort of LSAT/GPA cutoff for initial funding. Those numbers are only modestly correlated with 1L success. (There are several studies to this effect that very clearly show that LSAT/GPA is not destiny. YCRev claims he can't plug in my numbers and tell me where I'll place in my own class.)


But under what your proposing then wouldn’t there be a cutoff for GPA/LSAT for people who could go to law school then? I mean if you close the law schools off to people with some arbitrary GPA/LAST number how that anymore unjust than making people pay for LS if they want to go. (Not that I agree that loans should be cut off, but its seems your making the argument don’t cutoff loans to ME because I would not be able to go, but do cut off acess to law school for those beneath me because they don’t deserve to go). I don’t know if that’s what your trying to say, but that is how I’m reading it. I think that would be unjust. Let people go to law school. Let people fail. Those that want it bad enough will rise to the top.


My plan would be to punish schools for dishonesty and false advertising, not create bright line LSAT/GPA cutoffs. I am fundamentally opposed to such a concept, and don't think it would work very well in practice. I would argue that all law schools should be audited (to prevent misrepresentation), and schools with very low bar passage and employment statistics would be given a few years to catch up. Those unable to do so would then lose accreditation. The remaining law schools (at least one public school in every state, and many others that do decently in their markets) would then use holistic evaluation methods (not just LSAT/GPA) to select students, and those students would receive guaranteed Federal loans dischargable in bankruptcy. I think this would be the fairest way to do it.


For my 1,001st post, I would like to indicate that I will be citing to your suggestion in our forthcoming paper. Good work OS (even though it's Friday night and you should be out in NY short of having some huge assignment to write).


To my very dear Vandy attending friend: I don't deserve such high praise. Everything useful I know on the subject I learned from you and your classmate. I do frequently have this conversation with friends, though. The average law school applicant does not do the kind of thorough research that TLSers do, and people absolutely assume that law schools behave ethically. I believe your school does, and I would certainly not run around boosting Fordham if I hadn't done enough digging to reach China and been satisfied that my school merits the effort.

To the others in this thread: I don't have all the answers, and Observationalist, as wise as he is kind, has done his best to provide us with the best and most recent scholarship on the topic. I hope he's now off getting drunk in some Nashville bar, as I just returned from a huge CLS party where much drama ensued. I brought a couple of Fordham girls, since I thought the Columbians needed company. I do have a long memo to work on, but it will have to wait for tomorrow, since I definitely don't trust myself to pincite in my current state.

NeverlandRancher
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Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby NeverlandRancher » Sat Oct 24, 2009 2:36 am

Out before vanderbilt orgy.

ohnoyoudidn't
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Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby ohnoyoudidn't » Sat Oct 24, 2009 3:57 am

NeverlandRancher wrote:
jenesaislaw wrote:a) It's a huge battle to get into the entertainment law industry from Vanderbilt. There were a few of us with jobs over this past summer and during this semester, and surely a few others could have landed them if they wanted and really tried, but not so many that a new school is justified. It's seriously almost exclusively about networking (or harassing an attorney until she gives you a job...as in my case).
b) Ole Miss is not elite an elite law school for Nashville. Come on...
c) Observationalist hit on the problem with Belmont. Even if there is some demand not filled (see a), or if Belmont grads were competitive with Vandy grads (come on...), there is NO way the market could sustain enough jobs to justify 100 new graduates per year - even in a good year. Moreover, these jobs that they'd be getting do not pay enough to justify most/any of their students to attend for anything less than a 50% scholarship (give or take). They're basically asking students to take on 125k - 150k in debt to make at most half of that. The only jobs that kind-of-justify that debt in Nashville - their targeted market - are going to be unavailable to at least 90% of the class. Maybe more. Most of this class, as he said, is filler so the school can operate.


a. Belmont has the top music business and production schools in the nation (rivaled only by NYU) in one of the top cities for the field. I'm sure you're right about there not being an abundance of legal jobs in the music industry ITE, but if Belmont can create a program that capitalizes on their reputation/connections/resources in music then I would be willing to bet that they could challenge vandy grads for those jobs. of course vandy will always be the far superior law school overall, but belmont could definitely overtake vandy in entertainment law if they successfully implement the program.

b. Ole Miss is very well respected and connected in nashville. there are plenty of attorneys in nashville's top firms from ole miss and it gives you the best shot outside of t14, vandy, and tennessee. having several legal connections here with ole miss JDs makes it a very viable option for me to work in nashville out of mississippi.

c. Nashville's population has grown by more than 60% since 1990 to reach 1.6 million. Middle Tennessee is one of the fastest-growing regions in the United States and it's expected to start growing at an even faster rate. It is currently served by primarily by two law schools: Vandy (from which the majority work outside of TN) and Tennessee (from which the majority work in east tennessee). Probably not ITE, but when the economy is back on its feet Nashville can definitely support a second law school. New Orleans (similar in size to nashville) is served by four law schools (Tulane, LSU, Loyola, and Southern) and louisiana does not have 3 other decent-sized legal markets like tennessee to absorb those graduates. Its not at all uncommon/far-fetched or a city to have a prestigious law school, a state school nearby, and a smaller law school geared toward serving that city in particular. For the record, I didn't go to belmont for UG nor will i go for law school, but it is highly regarded and well funded ($$$$). It will create a successful and worthwhile law school.


I would have had no clue what well funded meant without the $$$$ signs.

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Mickey Quicknumbers
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Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby Mickey Quicknumbers » Sat Oct 24, 2009 7:01 am

NeverlandRancher wrote:Out before vanderbilt orgy.


3 pages ago was a good time for you to get out.

edit: also, I want to be a part of the Vanderbilt orgy, who wants to do me a favor and tell the dean of admissions how great of a guy I am . . . . please

NeverlandRancher
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Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby NeverlandRancher » Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:33 am

thanks, guid. theyre gonna love you in nashville.

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Philo38
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Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby Philo38 » Sat Oct 24, 2009 4:52 pm

You're also right that Belmont has identified a demand among applicants for another JD program in Tennessee. I don't think it's fair to say demand is coming from morons, but I do believe the general public is severely uninformed about JD job prospects. People have been complaining about this information gap for years and yet little has changed... so long as a school can find enough people with good college gpas and decent test scores who believe that a JD opens doors, they can continue charging tuition, let people rack up debt, and then hide graduates who are unsatisfied with their result while holding up successful graduates to new ranks of the uninformed.


I couldn't agree with you more. I guess I was trying to make two seperate points: that Nashville could benefit from the law school I admit is partially due to my bias. I just see the way law students can positively impact a community, and this community has some serious educational, representational problems. I do think you are right that I may be overly optimistic that the addition of Belmont law will fill this gap, but that is the nature of my bias I suppose.

As for my other point, and what I really believe is my main point, I think we agree (but correct me if I am wrong). Arguments like Matlocks, and the article he provided, react to a new law school as if the school IS the problem. I reject the argument that there isn't a demand for JDs in Nashville, despite the law market. I argued that the anger is misplaced. The law school is answering a demand, and the level of that demand, the anxiousness to overpay for a JD should be the object of the frustration. It seems to me that from the paragraph I quoted you paint the picture of fault on both sides of the process, but I don't believe there is a significant element of fleecing on the part of the law schools. It is the responsibility of the students to asess the value of a JD and compare prices of schools, the information on the job market is widely available.

I also want to mention again that Belmont's plans are long-term. I know thier pricing in this job market may seem absurd right now and perhaps it is, but I am sure that if the demand for a JD changes, if the value of the degreee continues to slide, Belmont will have to change their service in order to meet the changing demand. Or buckle. As long as the demand remains the school will continue to charge the most they can, and that is on the shoulders of the consumer.

I just have a problem with the idea that the source of the bad legal job market is too many law schools, I think it is an overly simple and frankly juvenile interpretation. In the end, as the jobs become fewer, the value of JDs starts to dwindle from the bottom up, and the market will correct itself. That is, if those of us who patronize these law schools are smart enough to see it. Which remains to be seen.

Part of me is bias as well i will admit, in that it is hard to see states like NY and California do what they have been doing for so long, and when my poverty stricken state opens the first law school in a century, when we are lucky enough to experience some added academic sucess, we get attacked.

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Mr. Matlock
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Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby Mr. Matlock » Sat Oct 24, 2009 5:12 pm

Philo38 wrote:As for my other point, and what I really believe is my main point, I think we agree (but correct me if I am wrong). Arguments like Matlocks, and the article he provided, react to a new law school as if the school IS the problem. I reject the argument that there isn't a demand for JDs in Nashville, despite the law market. I argued that the anger is misplaced. The law school is answering a demand, and the level of that demand, the anxiousness to overpay for a JD should be the object of the frustration. It seems to me that from the paragraph I quoted you paint the picture of fault on both sides of the process, but I don't believe there is a significant element of fleecing on the part of the law schools. It is the responsibility of the students to asess the value of a JD and compare prices of schools, the information on the job market is widely available.

Hey, if Belmont wanted to enter the Nashville market and offer an affordable option to meet unmet needs, we wouldn't be having this conversation. But the truth is, many uninformed people are going to enroll and at the end of the day have no viable alternatives to pay back the massive loans they're going to take out. To me, it's criminal how the ABA allows schools to mis-represent employment facts. They take very willing suspects and show them only what they want them to see. That's wrong, and Belmont is getting ready to "belly-up to the bar". But hey, survival of the fittest, right? If you're too dumb... yada yada.

Add to that, if they're are "actual" jobs available in Nashville, it seems to me you could help a ton of currently minted JD students by pointing them in the right direction. Why let only the natives enjoy the music scene there? Hell, Observationalist has me curious now.

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reasonable_man
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Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby reasonable_man » Sat Oct 24, 2009 5:21 pm

Philo38 wrote:
You're also right that Belmont has identified a demand among applicants for another JD program in Tennessee. I don't think it's fair to say demand is coming from morons, but I do believe the general public is severely uninformed about JD job prospects. People have been complaining about this information gap for years and yet little has changed... so long as a school can find enough people with good college gpas and decent test scores who believe that a JD opens doors, they can continue charging tuition, let people rack up debt, and then hide graduates who are unsatisfied with their result while holding up successful graduates to new ranks of the uninformed.


I couldn't agree with you more. I guess I was trying to make two seperate points: that Nashville could benefit from the law school I admit is partially due to my bias. I just see the way law students can positively impact a community, and this community has some serious educational, representational problems. I do think you are right that I may be overly optimistic that the addition of Belmont law will fill this gap, but that is the nature of my bias I suppose.

As for my other point, and what I really believe is my main point, I think we agree (but correct me if I am wrong). Arguments like Matlocks, and the article he provided, react to a new law school as if the school IS the problem. I reject the argument that there isn't a demand for JDs in Nashville, despite the law market. I argued that the anger is misplaced. The law school is answering a demand, and the level of that demand, the anxiousness to overpay for a JD should be the object of the frustration. It seems to me that from the paragraph I quoted you paint the picture of fault on both sides of the process, but I don't believe there is a significant element of fleecing on the part of the law schools. It is the responsibility of the students to asess the value of a JD and compare prices of schools, the information on the job market is widely available.

I also want to mention again that Belmont's plans are long-term. I know thier pricing in this job market may seem absurd right now and perhaps it is, but I am sure that if the demand for a JD changes, if the value of the degreee continues to slide, Belmont will have to change their service in order to meet the changing demand. Or buckle. As long as the demand remains the school will continue to charge the most they can, and that is on the shoulders of the consumer.

I just have a problem with the idea that the source of the bad legal job market is too many law schools, I think it is an overly simple and frankly juvenile interpretation. In the end, as the jobs become fewer, the value of JDs starts to dwindle from the bottom up, and the market will correct itself. That is, if those of us who patronize these law schools are smart enough to see it. Which remains to be seen.

Part of me is bias as well i will admit, in that it is hard to see states like NY and California do what they have been doing for so long, and when my poverty stricken state opens the first law school in a century, when we are lucky enough to experience some added academic sucess, we get attacked.


Frankly.. I hope for your sake they open up 4 more in TN...

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Philo38
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Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby Philo38 » Sat Oct 24, 2009 5:30 pm

Mr. Matlock wrote:
Philo38 wrote:As for my other point, and what I really believe is my main point, I think we agree (but correct me if I am wrong). Arguments like Matlocks, and the article he provided, react to a new law school as if the school IS the problem. I reject the argument that there isn't a demand for JDs in Nashville, despite the law market. I argued that the anger is misplaced. The law school is answering a demand, and the level of that demand, the anxiousness to overpay for a JD should be the object of the frustration. It seems to me that from the paragraph I quoted you paint the picture of fault on both sides of the process, but I don't believe there is a significant element of fleecing on the part of the law schools. It is the responsibility of the students to asess the value of a JD and compare prices of schools, the information on the job market is widely available.

Hey, if Belmont wanted to enter the Nashville market and offer an affordable option to meet unmet needs, we wouldn't be having this conversation. But the truth is, many uninformed people are going to enroll and at the end of the day have no viable alternatives to pay back the massive loans they're going to take out. To me, it's criminal how the ABA allows schools to mis-represent employment facts. They take very willing suspects and show them only what they want them to see. That's wrong, and Belmont is getting ready to "belly-up to the bar". But hey, survival of the fittest, right? If you're too dumb... yada yada.

Add to that, if they're are "actual" jobs available in Nashville, it seems to me you could help a ton of currently minted JD students by pointing them in the right direction. Why let only the natives enjoy the music scene there? Hell, Observationalist has me curious now.


I agree misrepresentation of employment stats is unethical. However, I really do say survival of the fittest. Afterall, you and I are both fully aware of the job market and the reporting procedures of law schools right? The same level of information is available for all potential students.

Also, the other aspect to the Nashville market aside form the entertainment law is the medical market, and Belmont certainly pumps alot of grads into both the music business and medical fields. We do have HCA here afterall. That said, if Belmont and Nashville School of Law both tank becuse that is what the new legal job market demands than so be it.

I will say, I do think Belmont will have to lower thier prospective tuition. I am very excited by the prospect of a REAL full - time law school moving in and taking the place of Nashville School of Law as a cheaper, less difficult, more locally minded alternative to Vanderbilt. I don't know if they will fill that role, but the role is there to be filled and it will be fantastic if they can/will.

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MTal
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Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby MTal » Sat Oct 24, 2009 5:37 pm

"Let a thousand law schools bloom"

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reasonable_man
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Re: A Big TLS Welcome to Belmont College of Law, 2011

Postby reasonable_man » Sat Oct 24, 2009 5:48 pm

Philo38 wrote:
Mr. Matlock wrote:
Philo38 wrote:As for my other point, and what I really believe is my main point, I think we agree (but correct me if I am wrong). Arguments like Matlocks, and the article he provided, react to a new law school as if the school IS the problem. I reject the argument that there isn't a demand for JDs in Nashville, despite the law market. I argued that the anger is misplaced. The law school is answering a demand, and the level of that demand, the anxiousness to overpay for a JD should be the object of the frustration. It seems to me that from the paragraph I quoted you paint the picture of fault on both sides of the process, but I don't believe there is a significant element of fleecing on the part of the law schools. It is the responsibility of the students to asess the value of a JD and compare prices of schools, the information on the job market is widely available.

Hey, if Belmont wanted to enter the Nashville market and offer an affordable option to meet unmet needs, we wouldn't be having this conversation. But the truth is, many uninformed people are going to enroll and at the end of the day have no viable alternatives to pay back the massive loans they're going to take out. To me, it's criminal how the ABA allows schools to mis-represent employment facts. They take very willing suspects and show them only what they want them to see. That's wrong, and Belmont is getting ready to "belly-up to the bar". But hey, survival of the fittest, right? If you're too dumb... yada yada.

Add to that, if they're are "actual" jobs available in Nashville, it seems to me you could help a ton of currently minted JD students by pointing them in the right direction. Why let only the natives enjoy the music scene there? Hell, Observationalist has me curious now.


I agree misrepresentation of employment stats is unethical. However, I really do say survival of the fittest. Afterall, you and I are both fully aware of the job market and the reporting procedures of law schools right? The same level of information is available for all potential students.

Also, the other aspect to the Nashville market aside form the entertainment law is the medical market, and Belmont certainly pumps alot of grads into both the music business and medical fields. We do have HCA here afterall. That said, if Belmont and Nashville School of Law both tank becuse that is what the new legal job market demands than so be it.

I will say, I do think Belmont will have to lower thier prospective tuition. I am very excited by the prospect of a REAL full - time law school moving in and taking the place of Nashville School of Law as a cheaper, less difficult, more locally minded alternative to Vanderbilt. I don't know if they will fill that role, but the role is there to be filled and it will be fantastic if they can/will.


I'd like to go on record as saying that I think its bloody obvious you have absolutely no idea about the reality of the legal hiring market.




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