Thoughts from a law professor

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:53 am

In addition to reforming bankruptcy laws to make student loans dischargeable, it might help if a "baby bar" exam was required after completing the first year of law school since the real problem is one of over-supply, not of an outdated or unneeded profession.

User avatar
albusdumbledore
Posts: 1132
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:38 pm

Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby albusdumbledore » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:57 am

Mce252 wrote:I'm not connecting the dots. How does the discharge of a federally backed loan affect tuition rates?

Because then there is risk to the lender (i.e. the Federal government), and they're less willing to shill out 70 grand a year to somebody who might not be able to pay it back. And then of course schools can't really charge exorbitant amounts of tuition if people can't get loans.

Curious1
Posts: 964
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:54 pm

Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby Curious1 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:01 pm

Just in general I'd like to say I agree with OP on many points, having followed his posts for several months now.

Yes: most law schools are outrageously expensive
Yes: most law schools distort their salaries to mislead
Yes: most law schools don't really prepare you for practice
Yes: the legal hiring market is terrible
Yes: there are lots of lawyers who are unemployed right now, making the field even more overcrowded.

But this is top-law-schools.com, and we have plenty of pessimism of that sort already. You're mostly preaching to the choir.

User avatar
Mce252
Posts: 940
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:43 pm

Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby Mce252 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:05 pm

albusdumbledore wrote:
Mce252 wrote:I'm not connecting the dots. How does the discharge of a federally backed loan affect tuition rates?

Because then there is risk to the lender (i.e. the Federal government), and they're less willing to shill out 70 grand a year to somebody who might not be able to pay it back. And then of course schools can't really charge exorbitant amounts of tuition if people can't get loans.



I'm not sure the federal government calculates (and acts upon) risk well enough for that premise to be true.

User avatar
Mce252
Posts: 940
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:43 pm

Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby Mce252 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:06 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:In addition to reforming bankruptcy laws to make student loans dischargeable, it might help if a "baby bar" exam was required after completing the first year of law school since the real problem is one of over-supply, not of an outdated or unneeded profession.



This is a great idea. Very similar to medical school.

User avatar
albusdumbledore
Posts: 1132
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:38 pm

Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby albusdumbledore » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:08 pm

Mce252 wrote:
albusdumbledore wrote:
Mce252 wrote:I'm not connecting the dots. How does the discharge of a federally backed loan affect tuition rates?

Because then there is risk to the lender (i.e. the Federal government), and they're less willing to shill out 70 grand a year to somebody who might not be able to pay it back. And then of course schools can't really charge exorbitant amounts of tuition if people can't get loans.



I'm not sure the federal government calculates (and acts upon) risk well enough for that premise to be true.

Right. They don't have to right now because of draconian student loan laws. That's the whole point.

User avatar
Mce252
Posts: 940
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:43 pm

Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby Mce252 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:14 pm

albusdumbledore wrote:
Mce252 wrote:
albusdumbledore wrote:
Mce252 wrote:I'm not connecting the dots. How does the discharge of a federally backed loan affect tuition rates?

Because then there is risk to the lender (i.e. the Federal government), and they're less willing to shill out 70 grand a year to somebody who might not be able to pay it back. And then of course schools can't really charge exorbitant amounts of tuition if people can't get loans.



I'm not sure the federal government calculates (and acts upon) risk well enough for that premise to be true.

Right. They don't have to right now because of draconian student loan laws. That's the whole point.


I think it makes sense but the amount of political pressure on government backed education initiatives makes the picture muddled --kinda like government backed mortgage initiatives... Washington D.C. is not logical in relation to risk and return.

Curious1
Posts: 964
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:54 pm

Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby Curious1 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:16 pm

albusdumbledore wrote:
Mce252 wrote:
albusdumbledore wrote:
Mce252 wrote:I'm not connecting the dots. How does the discharge of a federally backed loan affect tuition rates?

Because then there is risk to the lender (i.e. the Federal government), and they're less willing to shill out 70 grand a year to somebody who might not be able to pay it back. And then of course schools can't really charge exorbitant amounts of tuition if people can't get loans.



I'm not sure the federal government calculates (and acts upon) risk well enough for that premise to be true.

Right. They don't have to right now because of draconian student loan laws. That's the whole point.



Don't any of you have any money?! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

User avatar
Mce252
Posts: 940
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:43 pm

Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby Mce252 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:18 pm

Yes, we all have yours and your future generations' money.

buttonpusher
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:56 am

Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby buttonpusher » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:28 pm

This is my favorite quote:

(5) Very large numbers of lawyers hate their jobs, which they find simultaneously boring and stressful (This is, in the world of work, an unusual and particularly invidious combination. Boring jobs tend not to be stressful, and stressful jobs are usually not too boring, but the legal profession has somehow managed to combine both features in a large proportion of its jobs).


Exactly. It's a one-two punch of incredibly boring copy n' paste, filling out boilerplate forms, reading some of the dullest text a human mind could compose (like a Tri-Lateral Global Broker-Deal Sub Agreement Addendum) and other corporate legalese, etc. Nearly everything in real-world practice is both mind-numbingly boring and absurdly verbose and complicated. It's somewhat disturbing that a large number of human minds are wasted composing, drafting, and analyzing this pointless verbal sewage.

I recall a little happy-hour reunion that some law school friends had put together about a year after we all got admitted. It was amazing how much everyone seemed to have aged, and how after a few drinks we all began to speak honestly about how much we hated our jobs and wished we'd never gone to law school. Even the few friends I had that made NYC Biglaw were beyond miserable, and a couple of them had to leave early when their Blackberry started buzzing, with another truckload of corporate shitpaper that had just arrived and needed urgent attention. Being a shitlaw ambulance chaser myself at the time, I was amazed that these jobs required one to leave a Saturday nite party at like 7 pm and catch the subway to work and pull an all-nighter.

User avatar
ggibelli
Posts: 215
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:12 pm

Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby ggibelli » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:30 pm

i don't have to worry about any of this because i am a special snowflake

User avatar
Perdevise
Posts: 367
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:45 pm

Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby Perdevise » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:30 pm

I appreciate OPs' comments, and think they are appropriate here. Go to the "what are my chances" thread and you will see lots of people agonizing over going to third or fourth tier schools with numbers that will insure loads of debt with little if any job prospects. Are people going to T14 schools in a different boat? Of course (but remember that lots of people from schools like Duke and Michigan are striking out at OCI). And one can always rationalize anecdotes that someone going a regional school might have local connections or "I know a guy from Hastings that made BigLaw", but the truth of the matter is that Professor Campos is saying things we all say in these boards every time we recommend someone retake the LSAT.

User avatar
sundevil77
Posts: 391
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:34 pm

Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby sundevil77 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:42 pm

Paul Campos wrote:
Curious1 wrote:
Paul Campos wrote:(3) I've never argued that nobody should be going to law school, which is an obvious straw man. A very large percentage of people going to law school now would be better off if they were doing something else. Obviously if you get a full ride to Yale you're almost certainly going to come out ahead. How about a full ride to Pretty Good School in flyover country? That's a lot trickier. How about 50% off full boat to Vanderbilt? Again, not an easy call. Etc.


You should endeavor to make the first point more clearly in your posts. I think it would be very sad if you succeeded in discouraging some YLS-bound student into taking a desk job instead.


The risk of that happening can be safely calculated as zero.


Professor burn.

I, for one, am glad that people like Prof. Campos are willing to post this type of material. It makes the case against law school much more compelling when the argument is made by an authoritative and self-interested party like a law school professor, rather than by an anonymous group of law students. If masses of lemmings undergrads quit forking out cash to go to law school, the professor would be out of a job.

User avatar
lakers3peat
Posts: 493
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:10 pm

Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby lakers3peat » Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:14 pm

Preaching to the choir law professor man dude sir. thank you for your brilliant insight but no I will not click on any of those advertisements on your website and earn you money.

User avatar
Bildungsroman
Posts: 5548
Joined: Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:42 pm

Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby Bildungsroman » Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:23 pm

I have followed your blogging with some interest, but let me offer a recommendation: from the statements you've made in your blog about how you came to join the anti-law-school camp, you don't seem to be an expert in the legal job market or in admissions (not saying you say a lot of things that are incorrect, just that you're not offering a unique perspective or much specialized experiential knowledge). Rather, the area you seemed like you would have special insight into and a rare willingness to talk is the field of legal academia: the value law professors are offering their students, how hard they work, the importance of their research, etc. I would like to read more about your experience and opinions in that area, rather than getting the same facts about lousy employment numbers and a stagnant professional field that I can get from any scam blog.

User avatar
ThomasMN
Posts: 300
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:38 pm

Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby ThomasMN » Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:38 pm

I love how Professor Campos makes a joke about future law students being bad at math when his use of statistics is atrocious. Just throwing every law school into a statistics blender does little to show how bleak the picture is for some. If you think that 10% of the students at a TTT legal institution have a shot at big law you're silly. At the same time, it is fairly obvious that a kid going to a good law school - like say Vanderbilt - has a better than 10% chances at getting a job at a big law firm. I could go on and on about this point, but I feel that it is fairly evident that your article brings little to the boiling mess that is anti-law school rhetoric.

I think it's nice that as a law professor you are willing to call out the legal institution on some of its shenanigans, but where were you five years ago? A lot of the law school scam is really not a new thing. Books written decades ago encourage people to watch out for bad law schools and that only a few national level schools were really worth the cost of admissions. Legal education has been broken for quite sometime. It seems that many people such as yourself have just recently jumped on the bandwagon that law school is bad to drive traffic to their scam blogs. Why so late to the party Professor Campos?

User avatar
Gail
Posts: 977
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:11 am

Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby Gail » Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:50 pm

Both sides of this argument are a bit too extreme for my liking - including the side that says if you get into YSH (CCN with $$$) then you should slump back to your life and never reach for anything more than a job paying $30k that will max you out a around $80k with some luck.

Law school is a bad idea for most. Probably for me. But what other alternatives do people have? If I shoot for law career and miss, well then I'm right back where I started. A miserable life with miserable career prospects and miserable miserableness.


But at least I won't have that debt!!!


Yes. Just major depression. Yippy.

charliep
Posts: 225
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2011 9:36 pm

Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby charliep » Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:07 pm

Gail wrote:Both sides of this argument are a bit too extreme for my liking - including the side that says if you get into YSH (CCN with $$$) then you should slump back to your life and never reach for anything more than a job paying $30k that will max you out a around $80k with some luck.

Law school is a bad idea for most. Probably for me. But what other alternatives do people have? If I shoot for law career and miss, well then I'm right back where I started. A miserable life with miserable career prospects and miserable miserableness.


But at least I won't have that debt!!!


Yes. Just major depression. Yippy.


exactly. it's like they assume everyone is turning down engineering jobs to pursue law school

User avatar
sach1282
Posts: 330
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:50 pm

Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby sach1282 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:12 pm

I majored in philosophy. I can either 1) attend law school 2) teach children with disabilities (because I had a friend who did it that got me in the door) 3) get a philosophy PhD 4) pray to Allah every day that my band becomes rich and famous.


Number 2 maxes out about $14 an hour, and only after a few years unless you have teaching credentials. Number 3 has even bleaker job prospects post-grad than the JD does, and although number 4 is more likely than not, I feel like when our fans know that a member of the band has a JD it will make us seem cooler and more sophisticated.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby romothesavior » Mon Dec 12, 2011 6:39 pm

OP, just wanted to say thanks for your thoughts and for the work you put in on this issue. You may be vilified in the academic community for saying the things you do, but the practicing attorneys and current students will appreciate this. I do agree that you should be a little more articulate and clear about what it is you are advocating for, but overall this is a refreshing thing to see. Most professors truly seem to have their heads buried in the sand, and I hope more professors get off their high horses and start to see just how bad things are getting. I'm especially looking forward to Professor Brian Tamanaha's new book, which I think will be the most comprehensive, well-researched, and broadest attack on the unethical things law schools are doing.

Thanks.

User avatar
Campagnolo
Posts: 906
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:49 pm

Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby Campagnolo » Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:02 pm

If not law, then what? I need a profession. I don't want to work shitty jerbs for the rest of my life. Are CPAs as miserable as lawyers? I do not like the thought of becoming a Doc, and academia doesn't do it for me, either. I Banking is out of reach as I did not attend an elite university, and I do not live in NYC or SF. Real estate? I'm not a cute blond in an already saturated market. I don't have any family money whatsoever, not any connections to those in power. There is very little in the way of real money in my city.

I'm open to suggestion. I fret at night thinking about becoming a lawyer. I work for lawyers now, and it's not so bad, but I'll never earn much more than I do now if I stay a legal assistant forever. I know well what lawyers do day to day, and while it ain't Matlock, it isn't terrible, and I can see myself being content doing the work. Law seems to be a gamble worth taking, but how can you ever be sure?

Sometimes you just have to nut up and go for it. That's what I tell myself. I have never had a fantastic business idea. If I do, I'd jump, but right now I just don't have it.

That's my rationale. I thought it might be helpful to post something along these lines so that there is more than a pissing match between the professor and those disputing his facts.

rklafehn
Posts: 129
Joined: Mon May 17, 2010 6:59 pm

Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby rklafehn » Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:13 pm

Perdevise wrote:I appreciate OPs' comments, and think they are appropriate here. Go to the "what are my chances" thread and you will see lots of people agonizing over going to third or fourth tier schools with numbers that will insure loads of debt with little if any job prospects. Are people going to T14 schools in a different boat? Of course (but remember that lots of people from schools like Duke and Michigan are striking out at OCI). And one can always rationalize anecdotes that someone going a regional school might have local connections or "I know a guy from Hastings that made BigLaw", but the truth of the matter is that Professor Campos is saying things we all say in these boards every time we recommend someone retake the LSAT.


Are you implying that things are way worse at Duke or UM as compared to UVA, Penn, Berk, Cornell, and NU? Saw a sheet of Duke summers and it seems 60%+ of Duke will be summering at a V100 firm. Those odds seems pretty good to me and are on par with the majority of the non-T6 T13.

User avatar
Campagnolo
Posts: 906
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:49 pm

Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby Campagnolo » Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:33 pm

I think the despondency in this thread is indicative of something larger going on in our economy. While we do need people to start their own businesses and innovate, it's also true that the largest drivers of the US economy (and largest employers), are big businesses. These are the companies we will work indirectly for if we win the Big Law lottery. There is no possible way I am getting anywhere near a Fortune 500 company unless I go T14 and succeed. I'm going to be a member of the service economy any way you slice it, so I may as well try and cut to the front of the line. Yeah?

Danteshek
Posts: 2172
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 4:40 pm

Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby Danteshek » Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:40 pm

Isn't it clear? Professors who graduated from Harvard and Yale are gang raping the rest of us.

User avatar
Gail
Posts: 977
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:11 am

Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby Gail » Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:59 pm

Campagnolo wrote:I think the despondency in this thread is indicative of something larger going on in our economy. While we do need people to start their own businesses and innovate, it's also true that the largest drivers of the US economy (and largest employers), are big businesses. These are the companies we will work indirectly for if we win the Big Law lottery. There is no possible way I am getting anywhere near a Fortune 500 company unless I go T14 and succeed. I'm going to be a member of the service economy any way you slice it, so I may as well try and cut to the front of the line. Yeah?


Our despondency is indicative of an entire generation that is lost, confused, hurt, and coming to a realization that we will be the first generation in a long time that will not even match the living standards of our parents.

I'm not effed because I got a JD. I'm effed because I was born in 1990.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bob loblaw law blog, Google [Bot], kugs and 4 guests