15 more law schools to be sued

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drdolittle
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby drdolittle » Wed Oct 19, 2011 7:04 pm

JCougar wrote:The legal industry is going through a dramatic change, and the schools that propped their insane tuitions up on the prospects of their students getting Biglaw salaries (many of which prospects being lied about and exaggerated through their websites) now have no legitimate job openings to place their students.

Especially this ^, though pretty much all of that poast is right on.

Except that I think for the truly very top schools, costs around current tuition levels are not that unreasonable b/c evidently any one of their grads who wants it can still snag biglaw, which in some shape or form will probably survive. As mentioned, even an altered biglaw biz model will presumably require fresh talent/grunts who start at the bottom, just not at the bloated numbers as in the recent past. Those who don't want biglaw out of such schools could fully rely on these top schools' loan repayment programs to enable their public interest work.

But for most schools outside the absolute elite, of which there are of course less than "14" in the country, something around 20K max per year sounds about right just based on about how much state colleges can cost. It's hard to compare though since law schools incur very little instructional costs outside of prof salaries, basic utilities/maintenance, i.e. there're no labs or other unique facilities needed beyond space for lectures.

Speaking of profs it's also laughable that in hiring profs schools, even the non truly elite, still place an inordinate emphasis at where a candidate got their JD instead of real qualifications like actual experience in practicing law or demonstrated teaching ability. And prof pay is too generous (well into six figures) considering that law prof salaries are mostly paid out of tuition (i.e. typically not w/ outside grants/fellowships), the average prof's responsibilities are limited, the job is guaranteed, the QOL is great & far less stressful than a job in the "real world." So prof salaries, method of instruction, selection/evaluation, duties will probably have to change as well to fix the non-elite schools. Also, 2 years should be enough for a run of the mill JD. Maybe 3, only if the goal is academia, where the last year could be made into some directed research toward a significant publication w/ an extra perfunctory degree like an Master's awarded at the end.

There's so much wrong with legal education today, it's hard to know where to begin. The idea that after all the time and money spent students in many states still need to take a bar review course, costing thousands more, to have a decent shot at passing their state's bar exam is just about the best example of how badly legal education is failing. At least it's good to see econ realities begin to force schools to reconsider their biz model and organizations like law school transparency cropping up to help enact change...

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JCougar
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby JCougar » Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:51 pm

drdolittle wrote:Speaking of profs it's also laughable that in hiring profs schools, even the non truly elite, still place an inordinate emphasis at where a candidate got their JD instead of real qualifications like actual experience in practicing law or demonstrated teaching ability. And prof pay is too generous (well into six figures) considering that law prof salaries are mostly paid out of tuition (i.e. typically not w/ outside grants/fellowships), the average prof's responsibilities are limited, the job is guaranteed, the QOL is great & far less stressful than a job in the "real world." So prof salaries, method of instruction, selection/evaluation, duties will probably have to change as well to fix the non-elite schools. Also, 2 years should be enough for a run of the mill JD. Maybe 3, only if the goal is academia, where the last year could be made into some directed research toward a significant publication w/ an extra perfunctory degree like an Master's awarded at the end.


This is a whole nother animal. The primary qualification for being a law professor is being good a law exams at an elite school. Except law exams don't measure teaching skills. It's actually hard to argue that they even measure lawyering skills very well, if at all. The exams were never designed to be an assessment of skills. The timed issue-spotter/essay format with a forced curve was developed before people even knew what an assessment was. It's basically a method to scare students into studying incredibly voluminous and dry material.

But the entire aura of empty grade prestige permiates every nook and cranny of the legal profession, even though it's totally divorced from reality. There's probably tons of people in the middle and at the bottom of classes that would be great at teaching law, but don't have the typing speed/aren't calm enough under pressure to do well on a law exam. And there's nothing about being great at exams that would make you a good teacher, other than it shows you understand the law (which is something that at least the top 2/3 of your class does anyway). Not that it matters much, because law professors don't do much teaching anyway. Half the class (or more) is students giving their opinions on material that's easy enough to understand by yourself if you just spend enough time reading it. None of the class is teaching you how to write a brief or argue a case, except for one or two writing classes that are either un-graded or constitute an extremely small percentage of your time and effort. And even in these classes, its unusual to get any meaningful feedback. That's how people learn: trial, feedback, improvement, try again, and repeat. That's how every other subject or trade is taught.

drdolittle wrote:There's so much wrong with legal education today, it's hard to know where to begin. The idea that after all the time and money spent students in many states still need to take a bar review course, costing thousands more, to have a decent shot at passing their state's bar exam is just about the best example of how badly legal education is failing. At least it's good to see econ realities begin to force schools to reconsider their biz model and organizations like law school transparency cropping up to help enact change...


I'm not hopeful that there's going to be any major changes anytime soon. They key players have way too much invested in the current system, and they will fight to the death to maintain it. The ABA is going to ride this out and hope that people shut up when the economy improves and everyone starts making money again -- which is the only way this system survived in the first place: despite it being an illusory, illogical, incestuous hoax, people were getting too rich to complain about it or even have the will to reform it. And even the people that didn't get rich at least had some sense that the system was fair. It's different now. As law schools continue bankrupting half of their students for a centuries-old hazing ritual that is now not even providing employment -- much less employment gainful enough to repay debts, people are going to continue to be outraged. Even people who do all the right things, get into a top school, do reasonably well, etc. are getting screwed due to the tuition-job-market disconnect.

Even many of the people that do get biglaw jobs will be weeded out before they pay off all their loans. If you go to NYU, take out $240K in debt, do great, and get your dream Biglaw job at a giant NYC associate mill, chances are 9 in 10 you won't make partner. If you're one that gets let go by year 2 or 3, you may not have very great exit options, and you'll still have six figures of debt around your shoulders.

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observationalist
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby observationalist » Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:45 pm

drdolittle wrote:
Speaking of profs it's also laughable that in hiring profs schools, even the non truly elite, still place an inordinate emphasis at where a candidate got their JD instead of real qualifications like actual experience in practicing law or demonstrated teaching ability. And prof pay is too generous (well into six figures) considering that law prof salaries are mostly paid out of tuition (i.e. typically not w/ outside grants/fellowships), the average prof's responsibilities are limited, the job is guaranteed, the QOL is great & far less stressful than a job in the "real world." So prof salaries, method of instruction, selection/evaluation, duties will probably have to change as well to fix the non-elite schools. Also, 2 years should be enough for a run of the mill JD. Maybe 3, only if the goal is academia, where the last year could be made into some directed research toward a significant publication w/ an extra perfunctory degree like an Master's awarded at the end.


DrD, you might be interested to learn that the ABA's Standards Review Committee has been trying to pass a new interpretation clarifying one of its standards to the effect that there isn't actually a requirement as to the number of tenured faculty a school must have. This interpretation would have the benefit of allowing ABA-approved law schools to rely less on expensive tenured faculty and utilize more adjuncts at lower costs, which if passed on to the consumer would result in lower tuition. But of course the notion of making law school more affordable at the expense of tenured faculty is not very popular, at least among the main lobbying organization for tenured faculty in the U.S. (The American Association of Law Schools, or AALS). The group has been very vocal regarding this change, arguing a number of reasons why tenured faculty jobs must be protected even though they are the main hurdle to reducing tuition. And unfortunately for those of us who hope the Standards Review Committee will continue trying to make changes that reduce the costs of a J.D., one of their newest members just finished up a stint as president of AALS. We are already foreseeing a clash between her and some of the committee members who are actually trying to reduce the ways that the ABA standards tend to drive up tuition costs. Hopefully enough people end up paying attention to this internal struggle to prevent the faculty from winning out in the end... if anyone ever had doubts about the ABA as a captured agency, looking at just this one committee is enough to put those doubts to rest.

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Ohiobumpkin
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby Ohiobumpkin » Fri Oct 21, 2011 4:55 pm

I actually think the biggest thing that is killing the legal profession right now has more to do with how many bad schools are allowed to give out JDs. If the number of law schools could just be cut to the top 80, things wouldn't be so bad now.

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Antilles Haven
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby Antilles Haven » Fri Oct 21, 2011 5:52 pm

That only one Florida school is being sued is a travesty.

AriGoldButNicer
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby AriGoldButNicer » Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:30 pm

Antilles Haven wrote:That only one Florida school is being sued is a travesty.
why are u singling out FL? are they especially crappy or something? i know there's a lot of schools, but there's also a lot of immigration/maritime stuff.

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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby Curious1 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:35 pm

AriGoldButNicer wrote:
Antilles Haven wrote:That only one Florida school is being sued is a travesty.
why are u singling out FL? are they especially crappy or something? i know there's a lot of schools, but there's also a lot of immigration/maritime stuff.


Oh I so want to practice maritime law.

You're a crook, Captain Hook. Judge...won't you throw the book at the pi-RATE!

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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby scammedhard » Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:37 pm

observationalist wrote:". . . if anyone ever had doubts about the ABA as a captured agency, looking at just this one committee is enough to put those doubts to rest.


Of course the ABA is a captured agency. Just look at the questionnaire committee from the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar:

--LinkRemoved--

How can the ABA supervise legal education when legal educators run the ABA? Dealing with the ABA is a complete waste of time. It's time to move on and find a more competent organization to run the show.

What about LST? Are you guys up to the challenge?

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cinephile
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby cinephile » Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:46 pm

Curious1 wrote:
AriGoldButNicer wrote:
Antilles Haven wrote:That only one Florida school is being sued is a travesty.
why are u singling out FL? are they especially crappy or something? i know there's a lot of schools, but there's also a lot of immigration/maritime stuff.


Oh I so want to practice maritime law.

You're a crook, Captain Hook. Judge...won't you throw the book at the pi-RATE!


:lol:

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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby JusticeHarlan » Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:47 pm

Antilles Haven wrote:That only one Florida school is being sued is a travesty.

Quoted for not counting Cooley's new FL campus.

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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby Antilles Haven » Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:23 pm

AriGoldButNicer wrote:
Antilles Haven wrote:That only one Florida school is being sued is a travesty.
why are u singling out FL? are they especially crappy or something? i know there's a lot of schools, but there's also a lot of immigration/maritime stuff.

There really isn't though. Florida has 5 or 6 schools that could be wiped off the face of the earth with virtually no negative repercussions.

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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby thelawyler » Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:49 pm

Antilles Haven wrote:
AriGoldButNicer wrote:
Antilles Haven wrote:That only one Florida school is being sued is a travesty.
why are u singling out FL? are they especially crappy or something? i know there's a lot of schools, but there's also a lot of immigration/maritime stuff.

There really isn't though. Florida has 5 or 6 schools that could be wiped off the face of the earth with virtually no negative repercussions.


This could be said for about a hundred schools across the country. Only negative would be for schools' bank accounts.

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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby Curious1 » Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:51 pm

This could be said for about a hundred schools across the country. Only negative would be for schools' bank accounts.


Yeah...I'd go even further and say there should only be 25 law schools in the country, graduating about 10,000 lawyers a year on average. No more employment problems lol.

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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby Antilles Haven » Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:59 pm

thelawyler wrote:
Antilles Haven wrote:
AriGoldButNicer wrote:
Antilles Haven wrote:That only one Florida school is being sued is a travesty.
why are u singling out FL? are they especially crappy or something? i know there's a lot of schools, but there's also a lot of immigration/maritime stuff.

There really isn't though. Florida has 5 or 6 schools that could be wiped off the face of the earth with virtually no negative repercussions.


This could be said for about a hundred schools across the country. Only negative would be for schools' bank accounts.

It could, but there's an unusually high concentration in Florida. Ave Maria, NOVA, Barry, and St. Thomas are all worst of the worst.

Curious1 wrote:Yeah...I'd go even further and say there should only be 25 law schools in the country, graduating about 10,000 lawyers a year on average. No more employment problems lol.

What? No.

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thelawyler
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby thelawyler » Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:04 pm

Curious1 wrote:
This could be said for about a hundred schools across the country. Only negative would be for schools' bank accounts.


Yeah...I'd go even further and say there should only be 25 law schools in the country, graduating about 10,000 lawyers a year on average. No more employment problems lol.


And JDs who were qualified but unable to find employment over the past several years could fill the gap for a bit. Then slowly expand law schools by carefully watching demand. But it's all nonsense and will never happen.

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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby drdolittle » Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:32 pm

thelawyler wrote:Then slowly expand law schools by carefully watching demand. But it's all nonsense and will never happen.

Again, the ABA should have been managing supply all along of course. I still don't understand how it's gotten this bad. We could find ways to explain it, but it doesn't make any sense considering it's so damaging to the legal field itself and when other professions, like take the health professions, have been able to regulate supply way more effectively. And these are not necessarily more difficult professions than law. They are practically so b/c of far more regulated supply through tighter accreditation, admission standards, etc.

I think it all boils down to law schools being so profitable that financial interests dominate decision making which in turn taints the ABA, whereas med schools, for example, are much more expensive to run and heavily rely on gov/state benefits in some form to break even, if that.

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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby scammedhard » Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:07 pm

drdolittle:

I think the crux of the problem is that academia is heavily over-represented in the ABA. Just go and peruse the ABA website and see where all the committee representatives come from. Most of them are from academia.

This in turn creates three issues that synergize to create the huge problem we have now. First, because of tenure, academia is not responsive to the woes of the legal market.

Second, as you pointed out, law school is very profitable; therefore, academia has a huge interest in keeping the current show going despite evidence that many, if not most of recent law school graduates, will not find a job as an attorney.

Third, since academia heavily influences the decisions of the ABA, the show will go on as log as it is in the best interest of academia.

Solutions? The most direct and long-lasting I can think of is to simply start over: fire the ABA and create an organization that puts the interest of the profession first. One could also ask academia to put some skin in the game--that is to make academia at least partly responsible of the debt from defaulting students.

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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby No13baby » Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:52 pm

cinephile wrote:
Curious1 wrote:
AriGoldButNicer wrote:
Antilles Haven wrote:That only one Florida school is being sued is a travesty.
why are u singling out FL? are they especially crappy or something? i know there's a lot of schools, but there's also a lot of immigration/maritime stuff.


Oh I so want to practice maritime law.

You're a crook, Captain Hook. Judge...won't you throw the book at the pi-RATE!


:lol:

Ha! I work at a maritime law firm, and this is what EVERYONE thinks of whenever I tell them about it.

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drdolittle
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby drdolittle » Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:31 pm

scammedhard wrote:drdolittle:

I think the crux of the problem is that academia is heavily over-represented in the ABA. Just go and peruse the ABA website and see where all the committee representatives come from. Most of them are from academia.

This in turn creates three issues that synergize to create the huge problem we have now. First, because of tenure, academia is not responsive to the woes of the legal market.

Second, as you pointed out, law school is very profitable; therefore, academia has a huge interest in keeping the current show going despite evidence that many, if not most of recent law school graduates, will not find a job as an attorney.

Third, since academia heavily influences the decisions of the ABA, the show will go on as log as it is in the best interest of academia.

Solutions? The most direct and long-lasting I can think of is to simply start over: fire the ABA and create an organization that puts the interest of the profession first. One could also ask academia to put some skin in the game--that is to make academia at least partly responsible of the debt from defaulting students.

OK, now the ABA's inadequacies are making sense. Tenured faculty need something more to do -- since they usually don't practice law ( :roll: ) and teaching the same old material can get old -- and "serve" the profession via the ABA. Observationalist also brought up the negative influence of tenured faculty on the ABA above. The system is actually more screwed up than I realized then. And I've always been shocked by how disconnected most tenured law faculty are from the legal job market even when they genuinely intend to be helpful. Enter Career Services and its full-time staff to save the day... By contrast in med schools, profs & physicians who teach also practice, i.e. see patients or do research/publish, in a field directly related to the classes taught.

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JCougar
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby JCougar » Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:07 pm

The other problem is that, because of US News, law schools are constantly in a cutthroat competition for faculty prestige. Because much of the rankings depend on faculty resources, student/teacher ratio, and expenditures per student (15%) and peer assessment scores (25%), there's a premium put on hiring star faculty and more faculty. Thus, law school costs will go up to pay for this "prestige" because everyone is competing, and if your tuition isn't high enough to pay for this stuff, you get left behind in the competition for prestige.

Having star faculty is nice, and many are wonderful people, but I don't really think it helps that much from a legal training perspective, since the law school curriculum 1) barely provides any legal training anyways, and if it does, that training is in your legal writing and research courses which aren't taught by the star faculty, and 2) the curriculum is the same whether you go to Cooley or Harvard. So you end up with higher costs simply for prestige's sake, and yet students really aren't getting anything more out if it from a pedagogical or training perspective.

It's just another factor leading to the empty "prestige" bubble. Students are, of course, willing to pay for prestige because it helps them get jobs that can pay off their debts. The problem is that when the job market gets bleaker and bleaker, prestige becomes even more important, and yet prestigious jobs are rarer and rarer. So more people are willing to take the "prestige gamble" in the hopes that it will pay off. And, of course, more and more people lose that gamble.

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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby PDaddy » Sun Oct 30, 2011 6:53 am

Kirk wrote:Schools are being sued because their grads are crying big crocodile tears because they didn’t land a big gig? Really? And this is the school’s fault, is that it?

Did the school send someone to your home School and pitch you hard, the way college coaches pitch kids to play for their team (with dreams of playing on Sunday). Everyone that didn’t end up in the pros must have one gigantic lawsuit in the works. C’mon!

There is an opening for $160K, you apply and do not get it. But someone else does. This is your law school’s fault? One hell of a lawsuit you have there.


The difference is that college coaches don't promise prep stars pro careers; they promise four-year athletic scholarships (even though they are technically one-year renewable and can be revoked at any time), significant playing time and television appearances. And if they constantly lied about those things the universities would be getting sued for that too!

Furthermore, so much of a potential pro career (draft status, pro teams' needs, trends in the X's and O's, injuries, strikes and lockouts, etc.) is out of the schools' hands, whereas OCI and recruiting opportunities can be influenced by the schools to a large degree. What the schools are doing is the equivalent of falsely advertising that all of its athletes wind up playing in the pros, either in the NFL, NBA, MLB or abroad. If a school doesn't have a large OCI pool, the administrators shouldn't lie about it.

They sent recruiters to the undergraduate campuses and then, with their well-coached robots, glossy prospectuses and meaningless fee waivers, fraudulently induced applications to their schools based on false statistics. That's the same thing a certain cerial company did when it falsely claimed that its cerials fought heart disease, or the makers of a certain mouthwash falsely overstated the effects of using their product(s).

The students who apply to these schools and ultimately attended them because of the meaningless scholarships (another fraudulent move) were duped into foregoing other career and personal opportunities that might have resulted in more enriching life experiences and relationships, not to mention less debt and other stress. That's the classic definition of fraudulent inducement.

Many of these students would have gone to b-school or done something else - and wound up happier. The law schools are f*cked on this one...sorry...
Last edited by PDaddy on Sun Nov 06, 2011 6:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby PDaddy » Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:16 am

thelawyler wrote:
Curious1 wrote:
This could be said for about a hundred schools across the country. Only negative would be for schools' bank accounts.


Yeah...I'd go even further and say there should only be 25 law schools in the country, graduating about 10,000 lawyers a year on average. No more employment problems lol.


And JDs who were qualified but unable to find employment over the past several years could fill the gap for a bit. Then slowly expand law schools by carefully watching demand. But it's all nonsense and will never happen.


Well...25 is too extremely low. We would need about 75-100 schools.

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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby taxguy » Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:34 am

drdolittle notes, "Speaking of profs it's also laughable that in hiring profs schools, even the non truly elite, still place an inordinate emphasis at where a candidate got their JD instead of real qualifications like actual experience in practicing law or demonstrated teaching ability."

Response: Funny, I just had a discussion about this with a friend. I know a guy who has sterling academic credentials. He has written over 60 articles, three published law books, worked several years at a top,big-name law firm, headed up a major concentration at a tier 3 school and is one of the smartest, nicest guys I know. He did NOT attend to tier 1 law school ( although he graduated valedictorian from that school) and attended Harvard for his LLM. He applied to become dean of University of Miami. He was specifically told that the reason he didn't get the job was because of the undergraduate law school that he attended about 20+ years ago. How stupid is that? University of Miami is VERY concerned with the law school attended by their faculty as does a number of other schools. This seems to even override anything accomplished after law school. It is a sad travesty where law school prestige overrides common sense.

My question, drdolittle, is , "How did you know that this problem existed?"

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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Sun Oct 30, 2011 10:28 am

Oh yeah. I know everyone on here saw the Shell in-house counsel job posting last year that was looking for someone with 10+ years of experience that had class rank cutoffs for each law school tier (top 40% T1, Top 20% T2, Top 10% T3, and Top 5% T4).

While I would never say the law school you attend is the end all be all, the general reputation of the law school you choose to attend is important, not only in terms of attracting big name employers to your resume/transcript, but also for getting employed with smaller employers who care more about lay reputation - and this extends beyond what US News rank your school has. There are some schools that, while ranked high, are not generally well regarded outside of their states - and - there are some that are ranked lower, but are generally well regarded (although this is less often the case).

I do think there should be about 100 law schools. Anything less really would probably have a negative affect (re: significantly increase the need for foreign lawyers). However, it is too late to decrease the number of law schools.

In all seriousness, the average law school graduate probably makes about $40,000 their first year out (re: average). While for most people that enter law school $40,000 would be quite the coup, it is a significant waste of time/money for a growing amount of people in law school. Prospective students need to know that. They also need to know that you shouldn't take out more in debt than you expect to make your first year out. I'm fully aware of what that means, but I do think it is a good measure for what a particular degree is worth.


agree with Pdaddy in that prospective law students believe anything that they are told.

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briviere
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby briviere » Sun Oct 30, 2011 10:28 am

Kendi wrote:If a law school grad is unhappy with her/his job prospects, she/he can sue their school, is that it? If their law school did in fact embellish its employment stats, I suppose the case would rest on the degree of the embellishment. I would think that if 92% dropped to 90%, so what. But if 92% fell to 62%, that would be meaty.

I noticed in the Villanova case that Villanova did embellish its admissions data, but IMHO their exaggeration was minimal. However, the ABA called it "reprehensible."


summary: yeah it's fraud, but it's not fraud fraud.

:roll:




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