Benjamin Brafman

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KingMenes
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Benjamin Brafman

Postby KingMenes » Sat May 21, 2011 10:29 am

I found out from watching CNN that the lead defense attorney in the Dominque Strauss Kahn sexual assualt case is a NYC attorney named Benjamin Brafman. It seems that he didn't attend a T-14, but earned his JD from Ohio Northern Law School, despite being a native New Yorker. Based on TLS majority opinion, this would be considered a major step backwards in terms of school rankings for Mr. Brafman.

Does anyone know if Ohio Northern Law School was a higher ranked law school in the past? Or has this school always been a 4th tier school? I ask because there seems to be a consensus on TLS that if you attend a 1st tier school, you'll become a great lawyer. While on the other hand, if you aren't admitted into a 1st tier law school you shouldn't even consider attending law school.

http://articles.cnn.com/2011-05-16/just ... s=PM:CRIME

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Brafman

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Grizz
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Re: Benjamin Brafman

Postby Grizz » Sat May 21, 2011 10:33 am

KingMenes wrote:I ask because there seems to be a consensus on TLS that if you attend 1st tier school, you'll become a great lawyer. While on the other hand, if you aren't admitted into a 1st tier law school you shouldn't even consider attending law school.


That's not the consensus.

Also past legal market =/= present market. This guy was admitted to the bar in 1975.

Rule11
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Re: Benjamin Brafman

Postby Rule11 » Sat May 21, 2011 10:42 am

This is the stupidest post possible. Please be reasonable. Nobody says that you can't be successful coming from a toilet, just that it's so much harder that the debt and opportunity costs are too great to justify the risk.

I guess I thank you for demonstrating how the law school scam continues to work on the willfully ignorant, though.

jd1969a
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Re: Benjamin Brafman

Postby jd1969a » Sat May 21, 2011 10:44 am

rad law wrote:
KingMenes wrote:I ask because there seems to be a consensus on TLS that if you attend 1st tier school, you'll become a great lawyer. While on the other hand, if you aren't admitted into a 1st tier law school you shouldn't even consider attending law school.


That's not the consensus.

Also past legal market =/= present market. This guy was admitted to the bar in 1975.



+1 My grandfather went to New York Law School and founded a very successful small firm and became a judge. This would be very unlikely to occur in the present day, but wasn't out of the ordinary at the time. You can't really base current law school decisions on people's career paths from previous generations.

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KingMenes
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Re: Benjamin Brafman

Postby KingMenes » Sat May 21, 2011 10:44 am

rad law wrote:
KingMenes wrote:I ask because there seems to be a consensus on TLS that if you attend 1st tier school, you'll become a great lawyer. While on the other hand, if you aren't admitted into a 1st tier law school you shouldn't even consider attending law school.


That's not the consensus.

Also past legal market =/= present market. This guy was admitted to the bar in 1975.



@Rad

Thanks for the reply. At the time of Brafman's graduation, the U.S. economy was in a recession, one up until that point in time was considered a severe recession. In fact, it was the most severe since World War II; at least that is what the historical data from BLS states. Could you explain the major difference between the 1975 legal market, where the official unemployment rate hovered near 9% versus 2011 where the unemployment rate hovers around 9%?

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somewhatwayward
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Re: Benjamin Brafman

Postby somewhatwayward » Sat May 21, 2011 10:45 am

bill gates dropped out of college, and he became a billionaire. therefore, i'm not going to college.

this is an argument my elementary-age sister used with me. i think that fact speaks for itself.

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KingMenes
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Re: Benjamin Brafman

Postby KingMenes » Sat May 21, 2011 10:49 am

Rule11 wrote:This is the stupidest post possible. Please be reasonable. Nobody says that you can't be successful coming from a toilet, just that it's so much harder that the debt and opportunity costs are too great to justify the risk.

I guess I thank you for demonstrating how the law school scam continues to work on the willfully ignorant, though.


My question was not pointed at forum jerkoffs. Please move along. I asked the question, and you had no obligation to respond. Whatever law school scams you believe work on some portions of the population has no effect on me. I have been browsing TLS long enough to have read all the most important forums. I'm sorry my question was stupid to you, but it was relevant to the forum.

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Grizz
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Re: Benjamin Brafman

Postby Grizz » Sat May 21, 2011 10:58 am

KingMenes wrote:
rad law wrote:
KingMenes wrote:I ask because there seems to be a consensus on TLS that if you attend 1st tier school, you'll become a great lawyer. While on the other hand, if you aren't admitted into a 1st tier law school you shouldn't even consider attending law school.


That's not the consensus.

Also past legal market =/= present market. This guy was admitted to the bar in 1975.



@Rad

Thanks for the reply. At the time of Brafman's graduation, the U.S. economy was in a recession, one up until that point in time was considered a severe recession. In fact, it was the most severe since World War II; at least that is what the historical data from BLS states. Could you explain the major difference between the 1975 legal market, where the official unemployment rate hovered near 9% versus 2011 where the unemployment rate hovers around 9%?


Legal education didn't cost nearly as much and the market wasn't hilariously over-saturated like it is now. Also legal hiring didn't work in the same way (no bimodal distribution).
Last edited by Grizz on Sat May 21, 2011 11:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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The Gentleman
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Re: Benjamin Brafman

Postby The Gentleman » Sat May 21, 2011 10:58 am

Apparently Ohio Northern's law school used to have a much better reputation than it does now. I work for an attorney who graduated from ONU Law back in the 1950's, and according to him it was the top law school in Ohio at that time. He went to an elite undergrad with a T14 school, but instead of staying there for law school, he decided to come back to Ohio in order to be closer to his wife and family. The guy's pretty in-tune with current law school rankings/legal job market issues so I would tend to believe him. At the very least, ONU wasn't always at the bottom of the barrel.

rad law wrote:Also past legal market =/= present market.


+1

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KingMenes
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Re: Benjamin Brafman

Postby KingMenes » Sat May 21, 2011 11:05 am

Legal education didn't cost as much and the market wasn't hilariously over-saturated like it is now.


@Radlaw

Appreciate the response. Do you believe that if there was a national option to take the bar exam without attending law school, that this would bring down the cost of law school? It seems plausible that less law schools without the option to take the bar minus law school would only drive up the cost of atteding law school even more.

@Gentleman

What you say makes sense. Thanks.

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Grizz
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Re: Benjamin Brafman

Postby Grizz » Sat May 21, 2011 11:10 am

KingMenes wrote:Do you believe that if there was a national option to take the bar exam without attending law school, that this would bring down the cost of law school?


It's not gonna happen thanks to state sovereignty, so don't worry about it. Also probably not, because law schools already graduate far far more graduates than there are legal jobs every year.

It seems plausible that less law schools without the option to take the bar minus law school would only drive up the cost of attedind law school even more.


I have no idea what you're trying to say here.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Benjamin Brafman

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat May 21, 2011 11:14 am

That poster is simply making a "supply & demand" argument.

P.S. And, no, this is not referring to a "demand" for more lawyers or to a "shortage" of attorneys.

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Grizz
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Re: Benjamin Brafman

Postby Grizz » Sat May 21, 2011 11:20 am

CanadianWolf wrote:That poster is simply making a "supply & demand" argument.


I actually think I get it now, after I add some commas.

It seems plausible that less law schools, without the option to take the bar minus law school without having gone to law school first, would only drive up the cost of attedind law school even more.


1. There is not going to be fewer law schools anytime soon.
2. Because there are already more law grads every year than jobs (vast thousands more), letting people sit for the bar without having gone to law school first isn't gonna change much (assuming that most employers want people with legal education, not merely bar passage). Some states actually do let you sit for the bar without having gone to law school, but legal education is just as expensive.

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KingMenes
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Re: Benjamin Brafman

Postby KingMenes » Sat May 21, 2011 11:21 am

I have no idea what you're trying to say here.


I was only saying that as things stand today, the elimination of x number of law schools would only tend to drive up the cost of attending law school. For instance, I don't believe the elimination of the bottom tier ABA approved law schools would lower the demand for legal training at law schools, but would actually increase the demand for a limited number of seats causing law school tuition to soar even higher. I agree, it doesn't appear that the majority of states are willing to consider changing state laws for the entrance into the practice of law. Anyways, thanks for the feedback.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Benjamin Brafman

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat May 21, 2011 11:21 am

The quickest way to decrease the number of law schools is simply to revise bankruptcy laws to permit discharge of educational loan debt.

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Grizz
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Re: Benjamin Brafman

Postby Grizz » Sat May 21, 2011 11:26 am

CanadianWolf wrote:The quickest way to decrease the number of law schools is simply to revise bankruptcy laws to permit discharge of educational loan debt.


I'd also add

1) mandating accurate salary reporting.
2) reforming govt. lending, basing it at least somewhat on the ability to repay the loan.

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Re: Benjamin Brafman

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat May 21, 2011 11:27 am

Prior to USNews law school rankings, prestige of law schools was primarily regional. For example, Dickinson School of Law (now Penn State Dickinson School of Law) was considered an elite law school because it was a key to becoming well connected in Pennsylvania & many alumni became Pennsylvania judges. Ohio Northern may have enjoyed similiar fame. During Brafman's law school days, Harvard, Yale & Michigan were the most prestigious & everything else was regional.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Sat May 21, 2011 11:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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KingMenes
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Re: Benjamin Brafman

Postby KingMenes » Sat May 21, 2011 11:29 am

CanadianWolf wrote:The quickest way to decrease the number of law schools is simply to revise bankruptcy laws to permit discharge of educational loan debt.


Why do you believe this is so? If I'm correct, the bankruptcy laws were revised under Bush II; prohibiting students from discharging student loan debt in bankruptcy. Was there a sudden rise in the incorporation of law schools after this prohibition was passed? The New York Times has been doing some pretty decent reporting on the various law school related scams lately, so hopefully we will see some positive changes in law school reporting standards and further discussion of reasonable cost control measures.

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Re: Benjamin Brafman

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat May 21, 2011 11:34 am

Yes. Law schools are viewed as "profit centers" by many universities due to high tuition & low cost of operation (unlike medical schools).

Law schools can admit anyone because they know that the availability of easy loan funds ensures that they will get paid regardless of the market for lawyers or the students' abilities. (Somewhat similiar to why we now have a housing crises.)

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Grizz
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Re: Benjamin Brafman

Postby Grizz » Sat May 21, 2011 11:36 am

KingMenes wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:The quickest way to decrease the number of law schools is simply to revise bankruptcy laws to permit discharge of educational loan debt.


Why do you believe this is so?


Basically, if law school tuition is too high, many won't be able to repay the loans, discharging the debt in bankruptcy instead. Tuition will drop to a level more in accordance with an ability to recoup the loan.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Benjamin Brafman

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat May 21, 2011 11:37 am

@radlaw: Agree, but your suggestions #1 & #2 are part of the bankruptcy issue because if discharge in bankruptcy is possible, then your factors are likely to be prime considerations before lenders loan money for law school tuition & expenses.

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Re: Benjamin Brafman

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat May 21, 2011 11:39 am

@KingMenes: Also, a successful lawsuit by private for profit law schools against the ABA led to several private law schools receiving ABA acreditation.

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Grizz
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Re: Benjamin Brafman

Postby Grizz » Sat May 21, 2011 11:40 am

CanadianWolf wrote:@radlaw: Agree, but your suggestions #1 & #2 are part of the bankruptcy issue because if discharge in bankruptcy is possible, then your factors are likely to be prime considerations before lenders loan money for law school tuition & expenses.


But you didn't say that, so your plan sounded something to me like "the current system we have now, but with bankruptcy."

But I see what you're saying now.

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KingMenes
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Re: Benjamin Brafman

Postby KingMenes » Sat May 21, 2011 11:42 am

CanadianWolf wrote:Yes. Law schools are viewed as "profit centers" by many universities due to high tuition & low cost of operation (unlike medical schools).

Law schools can admit anyone because they know that the availability of easy loan funds ensures that they will get paid regardless of the market for lawyers or the students' abilities. (Somewhat similiar to why we now have a housing crises.)


Interesting, if what you say is true, there is definitely a "ponzi scheme" undertone to the way some law schools operate. Like the housing crisis, I'm quite sure there are some astute credit default swap investors shorting student loan CDOs somewhere on Wall Street. What you posted is reasonable, so I won't be surprised at all to see a 'student loan debt bubble' explode in the near future, especially if the ratio of law school graduates to suitable employment is as disparate as mentioned in this thread. These facts only lend further credence to the idea that it is best to attend a top 100 law school in the current economic environment. Further proof that TLS is the place to go with any law school related question.

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sambeber
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Re: Benjamin Brafman

Postby sambeber » Sat May 21, 2011 12:03 pm

KingMenes wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:Yes. Law schools are viewed as "profit centers" by many universities due to high tuition & low cost of operation (unlike medical schools).

Law schools can admit anyone because they know that the availability of easy loan funds ensures that they will get paid regardless of the market for lawyers or the students' abilities. (Somewhat similiar to why we now have a housing crises.)


Interesting, if what you say is true, there is definitely a "ponzi scheme" undertone to the way some law schools operate. Like the housing crisis, I'm quite sure there are some astute credit default swap investors shorting student loan CDOs somewhere on Wall Street. What you posted is reasonable, so I won't be surprised at all to see a 'student loan debt bubble' explode in the near future, especially if the ratio of law school graduates to suitable employment is as disparate as mentioned in this thread. These facts only lend further credence to the idea that it is best to attend a top 100 law school in the current economic environment. Further proof that TLS is the place to go with any law school related question.


A minor critique of the bolded: As most students have 100% (or near that) federal loan funding at this point, the private market for student loan debt has, on the whole, died down. There is less debt to securitize (as the ratio of federal to private student loan debt has changed dramatically), and therefore much less ability to create a large market of CDO-type financial instruments (and therefore CDS, shorting of the market, etc.)

EDIT: If you actually are interested in Ben Brafman's path to where he is today (including law school), this --LinkRemoved-- is a good profile, though a little old at this point, in New York magazine.




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